Proverbs 27:15,16 Why Women Argue

15 A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping 
    of a leaky roof in a rainstorm;
16 restraining her is like restraining the wind
    or grasping oil with the hand.

Why Women Argue

Women argue for the same reason men do.  Most often we argue through fear.  Most often we argue for control.  The fall account is Genesis says that the woman’s desire shall be for her husband.  Later Cain is warned that sin and Satan has this same desire for him.  In the Hebrew, it is a desire to master and control.  When we argue, we must ask ourselves, “Of what are we afraid, anxious or nervous?”  An angry quarrel is a fight against fears that we have. It often has more to do with our history than our spouse.   Depression is when we bury the fears and corrode our own soul.  The solution is neither to attack others or ourselves.  The solution is faith.

Faith in God must be cultivated if we are to be free from destructive domestic argument.  Faith in God leads to a reasonable gentleness and a pervasive peace (Php 4).  It is forgetting God, and doubting someone else can take care of us, that causes us to control.  You see in the passage that it is expected that the man will control the woman, but she keeps giving him the slip.  She will not submit.  When a woman is overcome with fear and will not submit, our society praises her as a strong independent woman.  however, such a woman is destined to be isolated and lonely.  She will realise her own fears through her desire to control.  She may be in a relationship, but by controlling her partner she is not gaining the nourishment of intimacy.  A woman who allows herself to express disillusionment with her husband, and wins her arguments with him usually sees her husband withdraw.  There is initially an attack and defend cycle, but ultimately one person continues to argue and the other becomes beaten down and cowed.  Some say that the ‘winner’ enters the role of a false parent and the ‘loser’ enters the position of a child.  the relationship functions as tasks are carried out, but the heart relationship essentially dies.

Ideally, men and women are to engage in an enthusiastic and respectful mutual sharing of ideas.  They bring their fears of safety, compassion, and intimacy to God and come together with ever decreasing demands of the other.  The wife enters into the world of the husband and assigns value to his sports, friends and computer games because he values them.  The man finds time for her friends, her movies and her hobbies.  He sees they are of value because she is of value.  We can not demand that we receive this idyllic relationship, but we can unconditionally learn to find the strength to give our side of it.  Then when the husband shows initiative (true leadership), he makes decisions that have a clear view of who his wife is and what she needs.  When the wife submits to the husband, she surrenders to her husband those things he really desires.  In this way a marriage has sexual intimacy and harmony.  The man does not spend his time grasping and clawing at a woman who is fighting to get away.


  • To what is living with a quarrelsome wife compared?
  • How is drawing a quarrelsome wife into an intimate relationship described?
  • What is the responsibility of the husband and the spouse here?
  • How should God inform this relationship?
  • When you argue, what fears might be present?  how does God want you to deal with those fears?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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2 Responses to Proverbs 27:15,16 Why Women Argue

  1. Carrie says:

    I have always felt that no one can take care of me. I see two types of people; those that are physically or emotionally too weak to take care of me and secondly those that would rather control me than take care of me. I don’t believe that there is anything else. This is the way I have viewed God throughout life too. That there were times that He couldn’t care for me because I was too crazy/out of control to be helped. Then the other side was that I had done so much wrong and not lived up to God’s expectation that He wanted to punish me or put His hands on His hips and tap His foot at me. I don’t want to fight to hide my fears!!!! I want to remember that God is running towards me with open arms and so is my husband. Prayers that I can work on not being Andy’s “dripping tap.”

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