It’s better to live alone in the desert than with a quarrelsome, complaining wife.
Proverbs 21: 19
I’m sure a number of interesting thoughts went through your mind when you read this verse. Maybe you thought, “I’m not quarrelsome” or “What about husbands?” or “The desert isn’t so bad.”
When I read it, I thought, “Gee, could I really be so awful to live with that the desert would be a better option?” If any of us were to ask this last question, we would be humbled by the resounding “yes” that would boom down from heaven.
This train of thought brings to mind an interesting phenomenon: people tend to be on better behavior when they are around strangers, friends, and co-workers than when they are with the family members they care most about. We are more prone to being impatient, unsympathetic, quarrelsome, and even big complainers when we’re at home with our loved ones than when we’re with those who are here and gone in our lives. Why is this?
Perhaps it’s because we know our family members love us and will endure our presence no matter how we act. It’s not like our young children are going to move out if we snap at them all the time, or our spouses are going to leave because we’re grumpy every morning, right? We excuse our behavior because we’re sure they’ll continually forgive or at least accept our behavior because “that’s just the way I am.”
The verse above pushes us to change how we view home life. It should be a place where we practice the fruits of the spirit everyday (joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, love). Of course we won’t succeed on all fronts each day, but we should aspire to put our best foot forward, despite being stressed, tired, or just plain weary of our routine.
How can you improve life in your home today?