Monday, February 6, 2012

Drippy Harps, part one

Are you a drip? Do you harp a lot? I heard this rotten joke recently: "My wife is a perfect angel; she's always up in the air harping on something." Yikes! Is this me? Is this you?

When we allow ourselves to become casual in our relationships with our husbands, we can easily slip into the role of the "drippy harp:" a contentious woman who nags and criticizes while convincing herself that she's just being honest and helpful. Deliver me from such help! We would never want to be treated in the way that we mistreat our spouses!

We'll examine this one over several segments, but here's the first one:

1. If you won't let a matter drop, you're a drip.
"A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." (Prov. 27:15)
You may not realize it, but your repeated "suggestions" translate into "criticims" over time. Bringing an issue to someone's attention once is reasonable; twice is reminding; three times and beyond is full-tilt nagging. You may think that you're being helpful, but if you turned it around and put yourself on the receiving end of your repeated statements, you may be able to hear it differently.

When we've asked our men to do (or not to do) something, they heard us the first time. If we bring it up again, it's certain that they heard. If we try a third time...drip, drip, drip: we've become contentious. A contentious woman is trying to win, even though she often loses. So what's a woman to do?

Pray for wisdom, choose your words carefully, speak them lovingly at the right time and then wait patiently. And dump your expectations for a perfect resolution, because those are fairy tale thoughts invading your good sense. After a period of quiet and prayerful waiting, the answer may not be the solution you had in mind, because God sees differently than we see. God can see the whole picture; we only see our part.

Don't be a drip. Instead of bringing up the same matter over and over again, take it to the Lord. He doesn't mind how often you repeat yourself!

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