Speaking of making a point, Proverbs 27:15-16 reminds me what all of my reminders might sound like to my husband.
A quarrelsome wife is like
a constant dripping on a rainy day;
restraining her is like restraining the wind
or grasping oil with the hand.
A good friend and I regularly take the time to evaluate our lives in light of Christ's teaching, specifically our roles as wives, as mothers, as His children. Sometimes in addition to sharing about our dissatisfaction with a certain area of our lives, we vent a few complaints as well. I can feel free to share my dissatisfaction with my husband's actions, knowing that I have wise counsel and that she is unlikely to spur on my feelings of resentment or rebellion. I have always appreciated Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another," but it wasn't until today that I noticed that verse immediately followed those about the quarrelsome wife.
Sometimes I am not able to fix the situation, certainly not by talking about it. What I can do is look at myself and my attitude to see if it might be somehow be contributing to the issue. Using my friend as a sharpening rod generally causes me to look inward, or even better--upward. I can let my actions speak louder than words by getting rid of those clutter piles that drive my husband crazy or greeting him with a smile at the end of a long day instead of a sigh or a rant. If I talk to God about my concerns after examining my own motives and am sure that it is an area that needs to be corrected, I can be assured that prayer speaks louder than words. In fact, my friend and I have seen this very strategy "work" so many times that we coined a phrase for it:
Shut up and pray.The words themselves don't bring to mind a godly wife brimming with a gentle spirit, but the practice behind it certainly does. Where nagging creates tension (both in my husband and in the self-righteous attitude it creates in me), selfless acts and prayer change me while I'm waiting to see the change in my husband.