Proverbs 21:19

It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

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Young man! Being single is bad, and you are frustrated and lonely, but marrying an odious woman is worse. Save yourself! Marrying a difficult woman can give you more grief than you can imagine. Do not get near a woman that likes to debate or has a temper.

The Bible is not just theology. God created women and ordered how they should behave, and Solomon had seen and felt the pain of bad wives, so they warned you often to avoid certain women (Pr 12:4; 14:1; 19:13; 21:9,19; 25:24; 27:15-16; 30:21-23; 31:10-12).

Solomon knew what he wrote about. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines (second-class wives). The grief of a contentious and angry wife for one day can cure a man of desiring marriage. Solomon had 1000 women! God inspired this expert to give you marriage advice: do not marry a disagreeable woman. Marriage can be worse than being single.

Young man! Do you like camping in a hut in the woods by yourself? If you do, you are not normal. Most men would dread such a lonely situation. But remember, such camping is better than living in a fine home with luxurious furnishings and fare, if the woman in that house with you is a critical, negative, overbearing, tense, or easily-irritated woman.

What is a contentious woman? One that likes to contend – who likes to argue, criticize, disagree, fight, oppose, or question. She is full of questions, reminders, and suggestions – all to help, of course. Rather than dote on you, she will nag; rather than sweetly agree, she will question and suggest alternatives – until you wish you were single in the woods.

What is an angry woman? She cannot rule her spirit and likes to fight. She is easily angered, dissatisfied, irritated, negative, or resentful. She can find something negative about any event, and she frets and talks most about that. She is not satisfied. She is hardly ever content, seldom your sweet lover, but always irritated and stressed about something.

Young man! These odious women – hateful and repulsive – will deceive you (Pr 30:21-23). They will lure you into marriage, and then it is too late. Solomon warned that they can appear nice when courting and dating, but then the marriage trap shuts on your neck. You need to be very wise by knowing both positive and negative traits to measure.

Remember the rule of ten. Any hint of a difficult or overbearing spirit before marriage will be ten times worse afterward. Test her. Ask her to do something she dislikes. If you see her face fall, detect negative body language, or even smell irritation, run for the woods. Be single for life rather than married to her. Let her be single until she grows up.

No wonder the apostles responded the way they did when Jesus taught His strict rules about divorce. In light of little room for divorce, it would be better not to marry. They were afraid of getting trapped in a marriage with a contentious and angry woman. Young men should consider the grave seriousness of marriage and carefully examine a prospect.

There are many agreeable, cheerful, gracious, submissive, sweet, and reverent women. They can make you feel like a king in seconds, and marriage to them is royal bliss. They are warm, kind, charming, and pleasant. They have no harsh or rough edges. Reject any woman that is even slightly critical, moody, opinionated, or questioning. She does not deserve a husband. You do not deserve such pain. You deserve a real woman. Find one.

The odious woman cannot smell herself. She thinks she is helpful by prodding, asking questions, stressing over details, giving reminders, expecting perfection, or disliking a choice. If you were to ask her, she would say she is a good woman and wife. If you were to ask her mother, she would praise her as well (Ezek 16:44). But all others must hold their noses at the smell her husband cannot hide to his own shame (Pr 27:15-16)!

Here is the first rule to save you. Only consider or date a girl or woman that has an independent fear of God. Do not be influenced by her looks or kindness (Pr 31:30). This girl or woman loves God and will live by the Bible in every part of her life with or without your help. She loves Jesus Christ, godly living, hard preaching, and hates worldliness. She will treat you for her entire life the way the Bible tells her. You win!

Here is the second rule to save you. Learn the character traits of godly women from the Bible and expect all of them. Look for extreme diligence or hard work (Pr 31:13-27). Look for graciousness, especially in speech (Pr 11:16). Look for great respect to her parents (Eph 6:1-3). Look for love and kindness to others without any critical edges (I Cor 13:4-7). Look for a forgiving spirit that overlooks the faults of others (Col 3:12-15).

Young man! Your future is at stake. Learn the warnings in these proverbs about odious women. Believe them. Fear the pain of marriage to such a creature. Be prudent. Test a prospect, and watch her reaction closely. Is her mother a charming, desirable, and gracious woman, or not? Ask married men their opinions, for their sense of smell is finely tuned. Do not rush to marriage. Never take a chance with a fifty-year, horrible fate!

Christian girl or woman! Learn to love your place and role in the world – you were made for a husband (Gen 2:18; I Cor 11:9; I Tim 2:13). Get rid of your own opinions, for your desires are to be your husband’s (Gen 3:16). Learn and maximize graciousness, and you will always be loved (Pr 11:16). Learn the wisdom of Abigail (I Sam 25:21-35). Godly women do not contend with their husbands; they submit, obey, and reverence them (Eph 5:22-24,33; Tit 2:3-5). Godly women are not irritable or negative (Pr 31:26; I Pet 3:1-4).

Christian parent! It is your duty to train your children from Solomon’s proverbs to learn wisdom for great marriages and great families. Boys should be taught and shown by clear examples the differences between a gracious woman and an odious woman, so they will know what kind to marry. Girls should be shown and taught the same differences and required to live the godly way, so that some noble prince of a Christian man will want to marry them. Lead and rule their marital decisions in light of this wisdom for their profit.