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Let’s start with a quiz, kind of a Christian version of a Cosmo-Magazine test. Let’s find out…….are we Contentious Women?

Just keep track with your fingers. There will be ten questions, so that makes most of us capable of playing along. Ready?

Are You a Contentious Woman?

  1. Do you feel that it is your duty to remind your husband that it is time to:
    a) mow the lawn
    b) take out the trash
    c) wash the car?
  1. Are you convinced that if you tell your husband often enough that it is important for him to spend more time with the children, he will do just that?
  1. Does the thought of asking your husband to complete a task just one time and then waiting until he gets ready to do it make you feel anxious and frustrated?
  1. Do you frequently correct your husband in front of others or challenge his parenting in front of the children….even and especially when you don’t agree with him?
  1. Can you list 3 bad points about your husband’s personality right now?
  1. In the last 24 hours, have you begun a conversation with your husband by saying one of the following:
    a)You don’t ever,
    b) If you would just, or
    c) already told …..?
  1. If your husband is not a believer or a practicing Christian, do you think that tricking, begging, or developing insidious plans that will get his heathen-self into church will actually do any good?
  1. When your husband doesn’t respond to a request just the way that you want or when you …do you withhold intimacy (read that sex) as a form of manipulation?
  1. When your husband sees you coming, does his expression change to one of fear and or withdrawal?
  1. As you left your husband today, could your last encounter with him best be described as:
    a) warm and loving
    b) casual
    c) cold?

Okay, do you have a tally?

Let’s move on to a damage-control report now. Ready?

Here is our rubric..a fancy educational piece of jargon that means…. criteria.

If you answered YES to fewer than 3 items:

Congratulations. You are either:

  1. A saint,
  2. Married 15 years of longer and have figured this thing out, or
  3. Constantly studying scripture and praying for God’s blessing on your

If you answered YES to 4-7 items:

Caution is needed. You are treading on dangerous ground in your marriage. Your nagging and lack of respect for your spouse could result in one of the following:

  1. An uneasy truce and co-habitation instead of a loving marriage,
  2. Outright hostility, or
  3. An affair on one or both

If you answered YES to more than 7 items:

Your middle name is Contentious Woman.

Your husband refers to you, and he isn’t joking….as SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED. You probably spend most of your time:

  1. Complaining about your spouse,
  2. Dreaming of ways to get rid of your spouse, or
  3. So busy with other projects or work that you forget that you have a spouse.

Your husband, on the other hand….has retreated to the corner of the roof, which in the 1990’s translates to:

  1. His workplace,
  2. The golf course or fishing boat, or
  3. Fantasizing about  another (less crabby) woman.

How did you do? What are you thinking?

I’ll bet many of you, especially those of you who scored 4 or more are think- ing one of the following:

  1. What about the man……isn’t HE responsible?
  2. You don’t know what you’re talking about …I don’t care how many letters you have after your name.
  3. It’s not my …it is my personality that makes me that way or my dysfunctional family upbringing or molested or the fact that I got married: a) too young, b) to the wrong man, c) before I was saved.

Actually, you are all right at some level. Each of the above items has a touch of truth in them. Scripture says in 1 Cor. 11:11: “However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.” In truth, marriage is a covenant in which both partners are to place the other’s well being above his or her own.

But here’s a newsflash, there is no caveat in that scripture that says: “But you don’t have to follow this if your partner isn’t cooperating.” As believers, and I could just as easily give this talk to a group of men, as believers….not just as women, we are not independent of our spouses.

Recently, I heard a Christian teacher utter these shocking words when a man called him to say that he wasn’t happy in his marriage and that his wife wasn’t happy either….. obviously the gentleman wanted some sort of permission to leave the marriage. This Christian teacher responded: “God isn’t interested in your happiness. He is interested in your obedience.” #WTHDHJS

I can’t get that out of my head. Obedience is more important than happiness.   Yet when I examine the problems that we encounter as contentious women, I find that if we were obedient to scripture, most of the problems could be dealt with effectively.

Note that I did not say…..solved. I don’t think that solving the problem, much like finding happiness is available to us here and now.

Instead, I offer what 1 Cor 10:13 provides: “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”

Let me stop here and get one thing straight. I’m excluding all of you who are in a physically abusive or substance-abusive situation. If you or your children are in danger…..do something about it.

Probably, I’m not talking to those of you who scored 4 or more on the quiz. It has been my experience that women who are in such dangerous situations avoid any kind of confrontation. You either suffer in silence or totally dis- place your anger and pretend that everything is peachy-keen. Ladies, if you are in this kind of situation, don’t play with fire.

This talk is for those of us whose tongues and tempers could qualify under the new federal guidelines for automatic assault weapons…. Contentious women are seldom abused. We are just quarrelsome, belligerent, bossy, and miserable in our marriages.

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