An endless dripping on a rainy day
and a nagging wife are alike;
the one who controls her controls the wind
and grasps oil with his right hand. (Proverbs 27:15-16)
Have you ever had a leaky roof in your house? I remember a couple years ago walking in a wonderful big-box store on Keeaumoku street during a time when it was raining consistently hard around the Honolulu area. There were buckets all over the store catching drips of water that was leaking from the high ceiling. These big buckets were collecting a lot of water.
I can’t relate to Solomon when he mentions the similarity between a nagging wife and the constant dripping of rain water, since my wife is wonderful (or maybe, I’m the nagging wife). But I’m assuming the characteristics would be similar with the ideas that both would lead to a problem, both would bring about damage, and both would be greatly annoying. Solomon tells us that to attempt to contain and control these two situations would be highly difficult. Maybe you’ve tried to control the gusty tradewinds at the beach or tried to grab (and collect) oil with your hand before. I’ve tried both and it is very challenging and impossible to accomplish.
So what are we to do when we face difficult problems like this? Solomon tells us that trying to stop a person like a nagging wife will lead to a foolish attempt. Rather, a wise and godly husband should love her as Jesus loves the church and leave the changing up to God. I believe this proverb gives wisdom to any difficult interpersonal relationship that we are involved with. Maybe it’s a difficult co-worker, family member, friend, or casual acquaintance. Even though the situation may vary, God’s wisdom is appropriate at all times. Let’s resolve to let go and let God intervene. Commit to praying for this person and praying for ourselves, too. Then we can watch and see how God transforms these relationships from difficult to life-giving.