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How Should a Husband Treat His Quarrelsome Wife? // Ask Pastor John

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“Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” What are readers of Scripture supposed to learn from a proverb like this?

In the last third of the book of Proverbs, the theme of the quarrelsome wife is brought up five times (Proverbs 19:13; 21:9; 21:19; 25:24; 27:15). And those references raise a question: Is a husband encouraged to separate himself from such a wife? This is the question today, not from a man, but from a woman, a listener named Sarah.

“Hello, Pastor John! My question is regarding verses in Proverbs to husbands about their wives. Specifically Proverbs 21:9 — ‘Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.’ And Proverbs 21:19 — ‘Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.’ In the verses, and specifically in Proverbs when talking about the quarrelsome wife, I get the impression that the man should not stay with a wife of this character. Or at least it is not good to be with a wife who is quarrelsome.

“Is this a warning to men in being wise in selecting a wife? Or is this for women, a warning to wives and future wives to root our hearts in God’s wisdom so we don’t become quarrelsome? And how does this verse apply if a wife does in fact become quarrelsome later in the marriage? I know God’s will is for a man and woman to stay together for life. But can you bring clarity on the meaning and wisdom that should be pulled from these verses that seem to suggest separation?”

Episode 1356: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/how-should-a-husband-treat-his-quarrelsome-wife

Related Resources:

“What Advice Would You Give Newly Married John Piper?” https://youtu.be/wpL9DXwje_k

“Hope for Hard Marriages” https://youtu.be/B0o4t_l1kq0

“Should My Boyfriend and I Travel Alone?” https://youtu.be/73ulvWgcZKA

“When Do We Intervene in Other People’s Conflicts?” https://youtu.be/J4SP42MUZxY

Ask Pastor John Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF7F6AE365DA3564

Find other recent and popular Ask Pastor John episodes, http://desiringgod.org/ask-pastor-john
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