“. . . a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.”
— Proverbs 19:13, niv
Remember the last time you took a walk and had to stop because something had worked its way inside your shoe? Isn’t it amazing how something so small can be so aggravating?
Peter Jenkins, in his book Walk Across America, chronicled his experiences traveling on foot across this continent. In his book, Jenkins explained that he never felt overwhelmed or defeated by the big things. Instead, he said, “What almost defeated me over and over again was the sand in my shoes.”
I believe many marriages suffer from the same principle. Unheralded, seldom-discussed “sand in the shoes” underlies many of the marital failures that scar this land. What do I mean by “sand in the shoes of marriage”? I refer to the abrasive sand of criticism.
When people get married, they often make the colossal mistake of supposing they can improve their spouses. Husbands and wives alike think they can achieve this goal by simply telling their spouses about their bad points. People seem quite confident that if they simply point out their spouses’ bad points often enough, their spouses will correct their faults and again become the perfect angels they were when they were first married. In other words, the marriage license becomes a hunting license for faults. But contrary to the critic’s intentions, this daily faultfinding becomes like “sand in the shoes” or a constant dripping on a rainy day.
Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve recently been quick to point out your spouse’s faults. Consider this: If you emphasize your spouse’s good points, you might find that praise will take care of the bad points as nothing else will. Use your marriage license as a hunting license for good, to find virtue and not fault.
“Love looks through a telescope; envy through a microscope.”