Solomon, maybe through experience, speaks of how difficult it is to live in a house with strife. It is easier live in a corner when pushed too far.
I’m curious how Solomon came about this discovery. Was it imparted wisdom from God? Did he experience it with some of his wives? Did ‘friends’ share their stories with him? As wise as Solomon was,
It could have been something that came to him suddenly, like the wisdom he showed with the two prostitutes and the single living child. I’m pretty sure he didn’t go about ordering babies to be divided in half on a regular basis. It may have even been triggered in part by that same incident.
The woman who wasn’t the child’s mother was definitely quarrelsome! She didn’t care who got hurt, so long as she came out on top. That is what happens with someone who is quarrelsome. There is NO pleasing them. They pick fights over EVERYTHING! And you can NEVER win an argument with them. They will find some way to come out on top or to sabotage your ‘victory’ (i.e. “I only let you win”).
This does not mean that EVERY argument between a husband and wife is the result of one or both being quarrelsome. There are SOME issues that need to be resolved. Many of these revolve around children, money, and the management of both. But even here, pick your battles. Choose what are the most important issues to you and focus your energy on coming to an agreement on these points instead of arguing about every little detail.
This is a tactic I take in my home. My husband and I don’t have many ‘arguments’ but there are times when we butt heads against one another. The other day my husband was discovering that the information I was giving him about his medications were right. He actually admitted it to me, without me bringing it up. I teasingly said, “Remember this the next time we are in an argument and just start with those three words; you were right.” He laughed. It truly was meant in jest. He countered though with, “We don’t argue.” I agreed with him (in part) because we don’t often have verbal disagreements. I have learned to pick my battles and to trust that his mind will wander away from whatever it was that it wandered into in the first place.
My previous husband liked to find fault everywhere. Nothing I ever did was good enough and I “never remembered” anything correctly. I finally stopped trying to meet his expectations and any time I didn’t want to do something I would say, “I must have forgot.” I know, passive aggressive but it was how I survived constant criticism. Though it did bolster his argument of my ‘bad memory.’
The one who is constantly picked at or criticized begins to believe these things about themselves. There is no peace for them. If they COULD retreat to a corner and escape it would be marvelous! Solomon’s ‘solution’ sounds like it might be taken as a separation or divorce from the quarrelsome spouse. There is NO getting away from it as long as the union continues, unless the quarrelsome spouse chooses to change. The man who retreated to a corner of the rooftop was either at a friend’s house or in a hiding place his wife hadn’t found yet.
I AM NOT ADVOCATING DIVORCE, and I don’t REALLY think Solomon is either. Paul said there are a few reasons where divorce was acceptable but prayer for your spouse is ALWAYS acceptable. Prayer for yourself is acceptable, ESPECIALLY if you are the quarrelsome one in the relationship. God CAN help soothe you troubled heart. He can give You His peace. It is NOT an overnight transformation but with Him ALL things are possible. And the one who has suffered at the hands of the quarrelsome spouse CAN find healing. That too comes from God.
I want to share one last story about my healing from the constant criticism I suffered. One day, after my husband of the time told me he wanted a divorce and there was “nothing you can do about it” I was sitting in my living room watching my children. Out of nowhere I felt what I have named a “love bubble” rise up in me and my heart swelled with love for my children. My emotions had been pushed so far down that they were nonexistent and I didn’t even realize it. When that “love bubble” pushed its way to the surface, I realized how truly lonely I had been. God comforted me at that moment and spoke to my spirit, “Now it is time to heal.” It took MANY years to come to where I am now. I KNOW I’m not perfect but I am perfectly loved by my Father. He’s not done with me yet!
Father God, THANK YOU for restoring my heart. Thank You for protecting my children and me during the dark times. Thank You for restoring my joy. I KNOW I am not a perfect person to live with either. I do get frustrated and I let it show in my tone of voice. PLEASE take the things that frustrate me and ‘sand their edges off’ so they don’t bother me anymore. Let me show Your love in ALL I do!