15 February 2011 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)|
Day #336, 5934 AM
Accumulated Dripping Sins
Of Roof and Desert Refuges
Continued in Part 2
In the 18th chapter of Proverbs Solomon said, "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favour from Yahweh" (18:22, CEV). What a contrast between the favour-magnet of chapter 18 and the angry, contentious and nagging wife of chapter 21! Both are wives, but one is able to bring out the best in her husband, the other has a knack for bringing out the worst, resulting in her husband preferring the corner of the roof of his house or the barrenness, bleakness and heat of the open desert to her presence.
"Better to dwell in the midbar (wilderness, desert), than with a midyan (contentious, argumentative, belligerent) and kah'as (angry, indignant, provocative, spiteful, causer of discord, maker of sorrow) woman..." (Prov.21:19, NKJV).
"The midyan (contentiousness, argumentativeness, belligerence) of a wife are a continual delef (dripping, dropping, irritating, nagging)" (Prov.19:13, NKJV)
"A continual delef (dripping, dropping, irritating, nagging) on a very rainy day and a midyan (contentious, argumentative, belligerent) woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand" (Prov.27:15-16, NKJV)
"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a midyan (contentious, argumentative, belligerent) woman..." (Prov.25:24, NKJV).
The sins of contentiousness (midyan) and anger (kah'as) in men, and in men and women generally, are exposed and condemned in many places in Scripture. But only in the Book of Proverbs are we given a detailed exposition of these sins specifically as they pertain to women. They are, moreover, directly linked to, and equated with, another sinful disposition that is peculiar, it would seem, to the female gender, namely delef.
Unlike the sudden outbursts of midyan (contentiousness) and kah'as (anger), which come and go like storms, delef is considered to have an equally damaging effect by virtue of its negative power of accumulation. Delef is the Hebrew word meaning 'dripping', 'dropping' (as of rain drops or the drops from a leaking pipe), 'irritating' and 'nagging'.
We tend to react more negatively to the sudden violence of anger than we do to the cumulative effects of 'dripping sins' because we do not easily see the long-term effects of the 'little' repetitive sins that build up to give the same effect. And the fact that delef is not sudden and violent does not make it any less devasting than the build-up of a continuous stream of negativity and belittling. Proverbs both describes contentiousness as being like nagging as well them being two separate sins that are equally as devastating in their effect.
Paula Fraticelli, the wife of a minister, has this to say on the subject:
Let us all remember that it is not only the big sins but the constantly dripping little ones are obnoxious in Yahweh's sight too.
"It has been said that every man has both a king and a fool in him, and which ever one is spoken to more, which ever one is nurtured and developed, that will be the one he becomes. I can say, without a doubt that I have spoken to the king in my husband and call him my king. Not only that I believed in him when no one else did; and he knows that I am his biggest fan. Ladies, never underestimate the power of believing in your husband! When he knows that you believe in him it gives him wind beneath his wings. Even if the world is against him, he can feel unstoppable if he knows that you believe in him and that you support him.
"Most of the time, whatever I teach to women applies to men as well and vice versa, but in this case I believe that men need the unyielding support of their wives. Now, of course as wives we also need the support of [our] husbands. I am not saying that we don't. But I am saying that what husbands receive from wives, by way of belief and support, far outweighs what husbands do for them in like manner. That's why it is so devastating to a man when he has a wife who does not believe in him. And to make matters worse, Solomon describes a wife who takes it a step further and constantly nags her husband. This is a dangerous situation for the marriage, because before long her husband will dread coming home. He will look for someone who speaks to the king in him and not the fool in him" (Women of Destiny Blogspot, 22 November 2010).