When we visited Yellowstone National Park, we had the opportunity to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone River. It certainly was deep and an impressive canyon. Not on the scale of The Grand Canyon, but still wondrous in its own right.
When I took the picture above, I hoped that I had captured the bird that had soared into view just as I was snapping the shot, but I wasn’t sure. After we got home, I checked, and there he was, sitting tall and proud on top of the tree looking out over the river far below in the canyon.
It is a wonder when you look at the scenery in its broad perspective and realize that the canyon was created by the action of the river. The water continues, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, to carve away the rock as it deepens the canyon.
We know that water is one of the necessary components to our life, in fact the human body is approximately 60% water. We need it to drink, we need it for cleansing, we need it to live.
But water is also destructive. We can well remember Hurricane Katrina with its incredible devastation and loss of life in the southern United States. The canyons with their beautiful rivers running through them tell the story of thousands of years of sculpting as rocks are shaped and fissures are created.
Scripture brings the point home a bit more pointedly, however.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon has quite a bit to say about water and words. Specifically, in Proverbs 27:15 we read:
A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; [ESV]
Houses in the Middle East were formed of planks loosely joined and covered with a coating of thatch, clay or plaster. (Remember the friends to let their disabled friend down through the roof so he could get to Jesus! See Matthew 9) The roof of these homes was always likely to leak in heavy rain.
Solomon is comparing the irritating bickering and nagging of a wife to the continuous drip of water through an imperfectly constructed roof. This proverb has formed the basis for a Scottish saying: “A leaky house and a scolding wife are two bad companions.”
In defense of women everywhere, I must hasten to note that this admonition does not singularly relate to the wife in the home. The Message, a modern-day paraphrase, renders this wording of the proverb:
A nagging spouse is like
the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet;
You can’t turn it off,
and you can’t get away from it.
In short, both spouses can be leaky faucets if they don’t keep their eyes focused on the One who can give peace, even in difficult circumstances.
Further, lest either spouse points a finger at the other, I would refer to Paul’s admonition regarding husbands and wives:
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. … However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Ephesians 5:28-20, 33
I pray that we will seek forgiveness when we have been a nag to our spouse or when we have ignored or frustrated our souse, and then i pray that we would seek strength from our Lord Jesus Christ to guard our mouths so that we will have an harmonious home rather than a contentious one. I pray that we would love each other and that we would cherish and respect each other. I pray that our homes would be beacons of light in which God’s Word shines as we reach out to others each day.
Father, thank You for providing us Your Word as a book of instruction, reproof and correction for us. Thank You too for giving Solomon wisdom extraordinaire which he incorporated into the book of Proverbs, expressing Your wisdom for our understanding. Open our eyes and our hearts as we read Your Word so that we can glorify You in our relationships with others, even in our marriage relationship.