Proverbs 25:24

It is better to live on a corner of the housetop
than in a house in company with a quarrelsome wife.

I’m a lucky man. I don’t want to rub it in your face, but I am. I have an amazing wife who is an amazing mother. I have 4 wonderful kids who make me smile every day. And, I just got to sit on my couch and watch a movie with my wife, snuggled up close to me. But, I realize this isn’t the case in some relationships and households.

Some couples never spend any time together. They don’t spend their evenings together. They don’t even sleep in the same room. That’s a real shame.

Though, sometimes it can be understood.

There are really two aspects to this proverb:

The first aspect is that of man. You go spend your afternoons, evenings and weekends in your garage, man cave or at the bar. It seems that every time you walk in the door the first words out of your wife’s mouth are filled with angst. And if it’s not angst, it’s anger at the kids. And if it’s not anger, it’s stress. Whatever the case may be, it’s not just unpleasant – it leads to fighting. So instead of fighting, you just avoid. You go hide in the garage and wait for calmer parts of the day to make your appearance.

But here’s the thing. It may be tough to walk in that door and stay engaged. It may be hard to pull yourself out of the garage. But you absolutely have to. Absolutely. You can’t just allow your life to waste away, your wife to waste away and your influence with your kids to waste away. Get back in the right and fight for your marriage and fight for your family. No one ever won the game from the bleachers.

The second aspect is that of the woman. You work hard all day long. You’ve been pulled and pushed all day long. You’ve had a thousand requests and fulfilled a thousand and one of them. You’ve cleaned all day long, folded enough laundry to circle the globe and been elbow deep in things that belong in the toilet. By the time your husband gets home, you’re done. Everything’s gone, sanity included.

But here’s the thing. Your husband may have had a stressful day too, followed by a stressful commute. And even though, you may be at your wits end, wouldn’t it be easier to handle the remaining hours of the day with some help? I’m guessing you’d answer yes. If you’d like hubby to help, do you think dumping on him when he gets home is going to inspire him to jump in? Don’t you think it would work better to woo your husband into the chaos with some sugar? If you really want help and you want your husband to stay in the house, then you need to realize that getting mad at him right after he gets home isn’t the way to do that.

This may not be a fun post for you to read. It wasn’t fun to write. But, no matter who you are, if you want to thrive in the same house together, you have to think about the other person in the house. If you want your spouse to be involved in what you care about, the way to get that isn’t through anger and manipulation – it’s through selflessness. And no I don’t just mean for the wife. That’s for everyone. We all have to be selfless and think about how to serve each other in love.

If we’re doing that, we’ll stay off the rooftop.