September 27, 2011
“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike, to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.”
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
I’ve read this for years as separate issues: a quarrelsome wife as a completely different set of verses from “iron sharpens iron.” But today, for some reason, God spoke to me, through these verses, in a way that really blew my mind. I understand what the King was saying about a quarrelsome wife. For those of you who have been, are, or are planning to be married, you know what I’m talking about when I say sometimes you quarrel with your wife. Sometimes you might even say that your wife nags you (a continual dripping on a rainy day). Have you ever tried to rein her in? That’s the other part of the verse. Doing that is like “restraining the wind” or like trying to hold oil – any liquid – in your hand. Let me ask you guys: does your wife think you’re the continual dripping, quarrelsome, or about as able to restrain as the wind?
That series of questions sets up the next verse: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Having been to combat and having served a number of years with the military, I have come to truly appreciate this verse. There is an unexplainable bond that comes between men or women who have shed blood, sweat, and tears together. The same thing goes for those of us who play team sports. The shared experience can never be duplicated or replicated outside the bonds of those individuals who were present during the experience no matter to what extent the details are shared about that experience with non-participants.
I share my experience of combat more readily with other “green suiters” than with my wife because the ones with whom I would share have shed their blood as well. Translate that back to regular, everyday life. There are situations when a man needs encouragement from other men and only other men will be able to exhort their brother. Likewise, times prevent men from understanding what a woman experiences and women should find other women who can empathize with them more readily than a man.
The challenge then becomes finding that individual or individuals who can hold you accountable as well as build you up throughout your life. I’ve been fortunate on a few occasions to find such men. I hope to experience that again soon.