It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife (or husband, parent, child, or friend). (Prov. 21:9) And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (2 Tim. 2:24)
Dear Lord Jesus, I’m sure this proverb wasn’t generated by a group of men sitting around a Judean campfire complaining about their nagging, “drippy-faucet” wives. For whining, complaining and quarreling are no respecters of gender, age or position in a family system. All of us have our moments of forgetting the gospel and acting like spoiled children.
Today I want to own my penchant for quarrelsomeness, and to ask you to free me for far more healthy and redemptive ways of expressing disappointment, making a point, and engaging in conflict.
Lord Jesus, when I lose sight of the real issue and simply get argumentative with my spouse, friends, kids, or even strangers, arrest my proud heart. I’m very aware that sometimes my need to make my point sabotages my commitment to love well. The result is never good.
When I keep festering on the inside and pestering others, rather than resting in you, expose my insecure ways for what they really are: I’m assuming the role of the fourth member of the Trinity. Lord, I get no joy out of driving the people I love onto the corner of a roof, simply by my bad attitude.
When I get argumentative about grace, in graceless ways; when I curse the “traffic gods” in a long line of slow moving cars, while running ten minutes late for an appointment; when I assume I remember details better than whomever I’m talking with; when I make much out of nothing, and little out of the gospel… Lord, have mercy on me.
Jesus, when I protest more than I pray; when I launch more than I listen; when I’m more grouchy than grace-full; when I’m more self-righteous than either right or righteous; when I repay nag for nag, petty for petty, immaturity with immaturity—convict me, forgive me, help me, change me.
Because the gospel is true, I have hope. Because the gospel is true, I repent, Lord Jesus. So very Amen, I pray in your compassionate and transforming name.