Have you ever had to deal with a contentious person? Think about how this person made you feel. Better still have you ever been that contentious person? The bible describes such a woman as being likened to:
“A continual dripping.”
~Proverbs 19:13/ 27:15 ~
The Oxford dictionary describes the word contentious as:
1. Causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.
2. (Of a person) given to provoking argument.
I used to be that woman who was always angry with one thing or the other. I would go into work and because I was angry, it was displayed in the way that I interacted with others. I was also like this at home and unfortunately in some of my relationships. Nobody understood what was going on inside, they could only see my outward behaviour, which was that I was angry, negative and argumentative. This kind of behaviour made others walk on eggshells around me.
King Solomon speaks about the contentious woman in the book of Proverbs and gives a picture of what life would be like living with her.
“Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”
~ Proverbs 21:9 ~
Similarly Solomon goes on to say in the same chapter:
“Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.”
~ Proverbs 21:19 ~
Women who are contentious find it difficult to take correction. Not only would it be difficult for them to submit to spiritual leaders but it would also be difficult for them to submit to their spouse. The contentious woman is uncontrollable.
“Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, And grasps oil with his right hand.”
~ Proverbs 27:16 ~
In the long-run a contentious woman would struggle to maintain healthy relationships. She would also make unwise decisions because the majority of her decisions would be based on her feelings. This is very destructive.
It is very sad when I see women who are gifted and talented carry this contentious characteristic. Because they are always in conflict with others, they begin to form reputations for themselves that are contrary to what God really wants for their lives. As Christians our reputation is very important.
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.”
~ Proverbs 22:1 ~
We need to remember that other Christians and unbelievers are watching how we react to situations and when we are constantly striving with others nobody will see Christ in us, no matter our talents and gifts.
So….Why does King Solomon make a point about this aspect of a woman’s character? It must be important right?
This is because being contentious goes against how a Christian woman ought to be. Women are encouraged to carry a gentle and quiet spirit as this is deemed as precious in God’s sight.
“Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
~ 1 Peter 3:4 ~
The contentious woman that Solomon speaks about is in complete contrast to the Proverbs 31 woman who he also speaks about later on in the book of Proverbs and who a lot of Christian women aspire to be like.
Fortunately there are steps to take if you are struggling with contention. These steps also helped me:
1. Pursue peace:
As Christian women we should make every effort to be at peace with others. Nothing glorifies God more than people who at peace with others.
“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:”
~ Hebrews 12:14 ~
2. Desire to be gentle:
As Christian women not only should we pursue peace with people but we should also desire to be gentle which is one of the fruits of the spirit.
“Let your gentleness be known to all men…”
~ Philippians 4:5 ~
3. Eliminate Pride:
Where pride is, contention is also.
When God started dealing with me in my contentious state, he began to reveal to me that I carried a lot of pride.
“By pride comes nothing but strife…”
~ Proverbs 13:10 ~
I felt justified to act out in anger and found it hard to humble myself. There is a danger to this as being prideful makes God resistant to us.
“…God resists the proud.”
~ James 4:6 ~
Overcoming pride leads me to point number 4.
4. Be clothed with humility:
“…put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;”
~ Colossians 3:12 ~
Our aim as Christian women should be to be submissive to one another, and to be clothed with humility. It is when we are humble that we obtain grace from our Heavenly Father.
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
~ 1 Peter 5:5 ~
5. Cast your burdens unto Jesus:
And lastly we need to cast our burdens unto Jesus.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
~ Matthew 11:28 ~
If you are battling with the spirit of contention I want you to look deeper within, because this spirit can only come from a place of pain and hurt. Pray for Gods healing over past hurts. Seek Him and He will work all things out for you. Why? Because He loves and cares for us.
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
~ 1 Peter 5:7 ~
Stay encouraged xxx