"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman." (Proverbs 21:9)
"Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman." (Proverbs 21:19)
The Contentious Woman in Proverbs 21
The “Contentious Woman” mentioned in verses 9 & 19 is the wife who insists on being a difficult person for her husband to live with. She starts arguments with her husband absolutely impossible for him to win. Why? Well, mainly because she isn’t arguing because she wants an answer or a resolution to a particular situation. It’s because her goal is to perplex him so that she has the upper hand in the relationship. Nothing this man says will be relevant because it isn’t about him giving her the correct answer. It’s about one thing: control.
I’d imagine that if you confronted this woman about her behavior, she’d probably try to start an argument with you as well. She’d lie or manipulate you however she needed to, not to be right, but to leave that conversation making the other person feel as though they’ve been conquered… making herself feel better about herself because she justifies her own self-worth by how in control she is.
Basically, she’s the kind of person that pretty much no one wants to be around. The people surrounding her are either (A) just like her or (B) stuck with her.
So, I guess you are wondering why I’m talking so much about this person. Why does she inspire me so much? Well, for starters, my mom wasn’t like this. My wife isn’t like this either. Let’s just make that clear right now.
She intrigues me because I have a tremendous fear that my daughters will turn out to be like her. After all, if a woman is like this, it’s probably not her fault. Her dad was probably unreliable and didn’t take the time to love her and protect her from harm. In my head, I picture this guy who just works too much and never spends time with his daughter unless it benefits him in some way. Maybe he left her and her mother because they weren’t as important as other things in his life.
He probably never just sits and listens to her dreams and aspirations or the seemingly pointless things she rambles on and on about. He probably ignores the inner promptings he gets to spend more time with his daughter and sticks his nose in a video game system or whatever new gadget he paid too much money for that he finds more amusing/important than his little girl.
I can see this dad in myself sometimes and it’s scary. It’s so easy for me to become wrapped in my emotions and needs. I so desperately want all three of my daughters to grow up knowing how to love others and be confident in the person God created them to be. If they aren’t, I realize I’ll have no one to blame but myself when I am embarrassed at who they’ve become.
Dads, make your daughter a top priority in your life. I mean, don’t just say she is. Make her a top priority. She’s worth every bit of inconvenience and drama you feel she causes. Very few things in your life should be more important than her. Treat her like the lovely young woman you want her to be someday.
I mean, I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d bet money that by sacrificing more of ourselves to make sure our daughters are happy and secure will someday be looked back on being some of our greatest accomplishments. And all of these things we work so hard on right now (like our stupid toys and meaningless jobs) will mean absolutely nothing when we’re old and our little girls have grown up and become forced out of our everyday lives.
Disclaimer: I understand that there are, without a doubt, men who are contentious with their wives. However, me (the blogger) and Solomon (the author of Proverbs 21) are both heterosexual males, so contentious women will be the target of today’s discussion. I guess I just wanted to make sure that the readers of this post understand that I’m not being sexist. I’m sure a contentious man is just as difficult for a woman to live with as a contentious woman is for a man to live with. Anyway, I think you get the point now…
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