“A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” (Proverbs 27:15)
Men can be contentious too, of course. For example, we’re told in Acts fifteen of contention between Paul and Barnabas that led to their mutual separation. And Paul spoke in Philippians of men who preached Christ “of contention.” (I think I’ve heard a few of those!) But the unfortunate simile Solomon uses (the near maddening irritation of constantly dripping rain) is reserved for women, I’m afraid. Well, a man who lived with seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines could be considered an authority on such things, don’t you think?
And as if that were not bad enough, I’m sorry to have to tell you that the potential for this kind of behavior only becomes worse as you get older. Case in point: I find myself wanting more and more to contend with my husband over the most insignificant of things. Then I have to ask myself, “Why are you so dead set on correcting every real or imagined inaccuracy?” Maybe it’s because as we get older, we can no longer do more, so we must prove we know more. Actually, the only thing it proves is that we talk more. Whatever the reason, it is not something that endears one to people, especially someone with whom you spend a great deal of time.
I think of the many times someone contended with our Lord over (in perspective) incidentals, as though He were somehow in need of enlightening. Peter, fretting with Jesus because he thought He was not getting the recognition He deserved; or Martha, questioning His timing when Lazarus died, to name just two. But when I take an honest look at myself, I have to wonder if I would not have been just as guilty, had I been in their place.
I’d rather be like a ray of sunshine than the reminiscence of dripping rain. When people see me coming, I want them to put on sunglasses, not raise an umbrella!