Last week I was reading Proverbs and discovered five verses pertaining to contentious people, four of which pointed the finger at women. I say, “Them’s fightin’ words”. Which proves the point (-ed finger). So I’m thinking of all the ways I can be contentious. The word has many meanings, none of which are part of Proverbs 31’s virtuous woman (but who needs her, anyway?) Pr 21:19 says, “Better to live in a desert than with a contentious and vexing woman.” Notice, it says “woman” not “wife”, so all you single gals don’t get off so easily, and I’d better add my role as a mother to the mix, too.
Definition of Contention: 1. Strife; struggle; a violent effort to obtain something, or to resist a person, claim or injury; contest; quarrel.
Definition of Vex: 1. To irritate; to make angry by little provocations; 2. To plague; to torment; to harass; to afflict. 3. To disturb; to disquiet; to agitate. 4. To trouble; to distress.
So, let’s see…I can recall many examples of contention in my history. The cleverest of all were those times when I actually thought my contentiousness was “spiritual”-which was basically, 100 % of the time. Well, maybe it was-but it was from the wrong spirit! I’ll include under this heading the times I thought I heard a “word of the Lord” for John. Funny how that “word” always agreed with my strong opinion on something. Anyway, isn’t that another way of taking the Lord’s name in vain? “Contending for the faith” is quite different from being “contentious in faith”, and a fine line divides them. Which is why I need Jesus everyday- and to mind my own dang business when it comes to my husband’s faith. I have no business deciding his calling, his means of supporting us, or inflicting my brand of “hearing from the Lord” on him. I am to be his helpmate which means I am to PRAY for him, and leave it at that. Yes, I have opinions, and yes, I share them (isn’t that obvious?)-but it is not for me to live my faith vicariously through Him. Basically, when I go to the Word, I hear “shut up and pray”. A lot. Which means, no spiritual “fuming” at him, or judgement disguised as disappointment (which sounds much more spiritual, does it not?) And no using my personal ambitions to move him. So, this is a post to be continued, but for now, I’d just like to say, “Gee I’m a jerk sometimes (and thanks, John-and God- for loving me anyway).