Contentious Living

July 27, 2011
by Martin Wiles

Proverbs 21:9 – It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a contentious wife in a lovely home. (NLT)

The Andy Griffith episode, "Andy The Marriage Counsellor", tells the story of the Boones. They are a new couple in Mayberry, and while they get along with the townsfolk, they can't seem to master the art of getting along with each other.

Barney soon arrests them for disturbing the peace. The yelling and dish throwing were foreign objects to the serene atmosphere of Mayberry. After it became evident that talking and jail time wasn't going to work, Andy tries his hand at counselling. He makes them attend therapy sessions where he teaches them how to talk to each other. Seemingly, it worked. Then word surfaced that the therapy had unwanted side effects. While nice to each other, they were mean to everyone else. Andy finally gives up.

Contentious living is not God's ideal. In fact, in today's proverb, Solomon says that it is better to live in the corner of an attic than with an aggravating spouse. True, we all demonstrate our love for spouses, children, and friends in different ways, but demeaning remarks and abuse cannot be in the mix of healthy relationships. In fact, these are mutually exclusive situations.

God created us for companionship. This is evident in the story of Adam's beginnings:

Genesis 2:18 – The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." (NIV)

I have discovered that it is much more rewarding to be in relationships characterized by love, compassion, kindness, peace, understanding, and faithfulness than the opposite. It is also wise to base our relationships on the solid foundation of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Prayer: God, show us what we can do to make our relationships more rewarding. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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