Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31 Days to a Happy Marriage: Day 16: The Marriage Battle Cry: Nagging

I know that nagging is not an issue that only wives face.  But, since it is something that more wives than husbands deal with, this post is for us ladies.

Nagging is such a big deal that the Bible specifically talks about it multiple times.  Some of these scriptures make me giggle on the inside, and make me think, "Am I qualified to write this particular post?" Ha!

Proverbs 21:9 says, "Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse."

Proverbs 27:15-16 says, "A nagging spouse is like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet; You can’t turn it off, and you can’t get away from it."

Proverbs 21:19 says, "It is better to live alone in the desert than with a quick-tempered wife who loves to argue."

You are probably getting the picture.  The biggest thing I've learned about nagging is that while you may get your way, your whole household will be frustrated and you'll run the peace right out of your home. Nagging isn't worth it.  You'll drive your husband away quicker than doing almost anything else.

The first thing to ask yourself if you're nagging is: Is what I'm nagging my spouse about really necessary or am I putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on him?

Let me give you an example...

You're having company over and your house is a wreck.  You really need help to get 'everything' clean before the company arrives.  Your checklist includes everything from scrubbing the toilets to dusting the cobwebs out of the basement.  

Ask yourself, what is really necessary to have a decent home for company to walk into?  Is it ridiculous to put pressure on my husband to clean the the baseboards with a Q-Tip when I could ask him to Swiffer the floors instead?

I know in my own marriage, Jeremiah is more than willing to help, but as soon as I put unnecessary pressure on him to make something 'perfect' (or really, my way), nagging begins, and frustration soon follows.

Freedom in Christ is knowing that our lives don't have to look and be perfect.  It's knowing His grace is sufficient for us.  It's knowing we don't have to nag our spouse to do what we think they should.

If you're a husband reading this and you have a nagging wife, I hope you can be patient.  I hope you can look at her through the eyes that she's really trying hard to make things perfect and right.  Encourage her to rest.  Help release the pressure by helping out without being asked.

And wives, when you feel like you're about to nag, bite your tongue.  Most husbands can't hear the need because the nagging is speaking too loudly.  In a time when usually both spouses work outside the home, it's really important to be intentional in sharing responsibility and appreciating when things get done.  Communication really is key.     Ask you husband for help when you need it, but don't put unnecessary pressure on him.  If you don't feel like you're being heard, don't try to discuss issues in the heat of the moment, wait until things have cooled down.  And, take the pressure off yourself to be perfect, have the perfect home, have the perfect children, etc., etc.  When we remove that off of our lives, we can live a more laid-back life and really enjoy our spouse and family.

*Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*

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