Proverbs 21:9 and 19 seem to smack of a bit of humor (though complete truth) in the middle of this serious chapter. It would be better, they say, to live in a horrible or uncomfortable environment than with an argumentative, touchy, angry woman.
Perhaps some women scoff at this remark: How unfair! they might protest. But is it not true? “A happy wife makes a happy life.” “If Mama isn’t happy, then nobody is happy.” Many an adage that echoes these verses has become a popular saying today.
For better or for worse, the attitude of a woman—and women are generally, in good ways and in bad ways, more emotionally-charged individuals—greatly affects those around her. Proverbs is not singling out women in a sexist manner, but to remind women of the great power we have over the general peace in our homes. And when we have power, we must act responsibly.
When I asked my husband what he wants most out of life, comfort was one of his top three desires. Why are women often depicted as being quarrelsome (the antidote to comfort)? And, more importantly, how can I avoid falling into that stereotype?
1) Breathe: they say to count to ten before you react; sometimes three deep breaths can stop an overreaction.
2) Be: you are super-mom, but you have to make time for yourself. Ask your husband, in a time of kindness and not in the middle of trouble, to help you get time for a private cup of tea, a little reading, a nice bath, or girls’ game night.
3) Play: I get the most uptight when I think of all the things on my to do list. They pile up, and I snap at or ignore others while I try to knock them down, twelve at a time. It does my body and mind good to take a break and play with my kids—and with my husband! I have to carry the right attitude with me, though, because no one wants a grumbling or side-tracked playmate.
4) Pray: alone and together. The other day I was completely on edge. Every slight sound made me want to through rather heavy objects—specifically at the window. Instead of breaking things, I got on my knees, faced my two-and-a-half-year-old (who was following behind me talk-talk-talking), and said, “Jack, will you please pray for Mama?” I found the closest words I knew he’d understand: “Please pray that Mama will not be upset. That she will be happy.” Maybe it was admitting my emotions, maybe it was stopping before I overreacted, maybe it was the prayers of a toddler being answered—probably it was all of those things—and I felt better.
A happy home is a group effort, but the woman often takes the emotional lead. I must always try to create a feeling of peace and safety in my home. I don’t want my sons or husband thinking they’d rather live on the roof or in the woods than with me!
The to do list can wait: these boys needed some fun in the sun time.
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