The Complainer's Corner

Proverbs 27:15 "A nagging wife is as annoying as the constant dripping on a rainy day." (NLT)

May I invite you to the complainer's corner? I have a nice cushiony sofa for you to recline on. There. Comfy? Now, go ahead, complain.

Who could resist that invitation? So you begin. "My husband never helps around the house. All he wants is his recliner, remote and newspaper. He's another Archie Bunker." Or, "My wife spends and spends. She thinks money grows on trees. I work hard for our money and she blows it on getting her nails done, having her hair fixed and a new outfit." Can't leave the kids out. "Mom and Dad never let me do what I want. There's always some reason why what I want isn't good for me."

And what about the boss who makes unreasonable demands? The cashier who obviously doesn't know you're in a hurry. Or Mrs. Know It All at church who thinks her two cents is more important than your five. Why I'm even guilty of complaining about complainers.

Solomon appears to give women a raw deal. A nagging wife is like a dripping faucet. Better to live on the corner of a roof than with a quarreling woman (27:9), or even in a desert than with a crabby complaining one (27:19). No doubt, he spoke from experience. He had a thousand (I Kings 11:3).

Remembering the bible often uses the masculine gender as a general reference to humanity puts a different spin on the proverb. What is said of women can apply to anyone. Men, children and teens are just as guilty of complaining as women.

I for one have to make an effort to avoid the Complainer's Corner. It's more tantalizing than the Encourager's Corner. And certainly more comfortable. Complaining seems natural while encouragement takes effort. It's easier to criticize Bob's smell, bad habits, disgusting speech and laziness than to recognize his beautiful whistle. It's easier to grumble about what he's not than encourage him to be what he could.

To complain or not to complain, that is the question. Perhaps we should change the "time out" corner to the "complain out" corner.

Prayer: With Your help Father, we can learn to encourage rather than complain.

Martin Wiles
Harleyville, South Carolina, USA

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