Proverbs 21:9 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious wife…19 It is better to live in a desert land than with a contentious and fretful wife.
These two verses in the same chapter of Proverbs got my attention this morning. The Hebrew word “מְדוֹנִים” translated here as “contentious” carries with it a more severe meaning than the English implies. This does not indicate a minor disagreement. One resource defines it as “bitter, heated, even violent conflict”. And while the writer indicates a contentious wife, one could easily substitute husband, child, or anyone else in the house.
Have you ever lived in a house where there was “bitter, heated, even violent conflict”? I did during some of my childhood years. It’s awful. Under such circumstances, home is no longer a safe place. There is violence done verbally and non-verbally to everyone in the house – participants and bystanders alike.
My prayer for many years has not been so much that my family and I might live in splendor, but that we might live in peace. And, while I can assure you we have experienced times of turmoil in our home like everyone else, these instances have been few and far between. For this I am immensely grateful to God, for it is by his grace alone that we experience peace.
What about you? How are things at home? Is there peace, trust, warmth? If so, give thanks to God. You are most fortunate. Or perhaps it’s more like conflict, pain, and struggle? If so, seek the Lord’s help. Right now. Pray with me.
Lord Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace. By your spirit you help us to reconcile our differences with one another in love. This morning I pray especially for those who are living in a situation that might be described as “contentious”. It’s a very difficult place to be, but it happens all the time in a fallen world. Give us grace to seek you in the midst of struggle. Send your spirit of peace to those who ask. For we ask this in your precious name. Amen.