Solomon talks often about the quarrelsome wife – two references in Proverbs 21 – better to live on the corner of a roof than with a quarrelsome wifek, and second better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome wife. Those are quite some statements for a man who had it all in women, and spoken from the heart of a man which we know typically is much more tolerant with the weaknesses of the woman with whom he lives than the woman of him. The reason why most marriages are broken up by the woman walking away. Unless a man gets involved with another woman, he will rarely walk out of a marriage, though in any culture when a woman can live economically independent of a man, she often will walk away. It may be caused by the man's affair with another woman, but even in that circumstance, there are men who would opt to stay in a marriage and have the outside woman if they could. For them it feels like the best of two worlds.
So thinking about the extremes represented by the corner of the roof (poor, no influence, no comfort) and the desert (hot, lonely, thirsty), and then thinking about the woman that makes life for a man worse than these two illustrations, I was struck with the idea that quarreling is just stupid. It results in nothing. I used to think it was an emotional thing, something to do with the heart. It does usually lead to that, but it's start is just the absence of some brain pathways working correctly., No one wins, and when someone thinks they have won, they have really lost. Last night I made a directional comment to Matt, and he disagreed with me on my sense of direction. I argued, sure I must be right. He pulled up google earths on his phone to check his thinking, proceeded to draw out the illustration, and then close with google earths on my computer so I could see my error. I reluctantly said, "well you win." His immediate response, "No it's not about winning. You just confused me when you were pointing in what you said was the direction of the gas station. I would have never found it."
Rather than arguing, how much better would my attitude have been to have said, "Really? Are you sure? Show me." If he was wrong, we would have both known it, and if he was right, I would have been the teachable, open mind, looking to learn and discern the truth in every setting, without saying a word encouraging him for right thinking. And then, and only then, does everyone win.