It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
Why are some men often away from home? They hunt, work extra hours, golf, live in their workshop, manicure the lawn, stay in the basement, or listen to music with headphones. Why? They are avoiding the dreadful creature they foolishly married. These poor men made a life-ruining choice by marrying a contentious and debating woman.
God created Eve to be the perfect companion for Adam, and she was (Gen 2:18-25). Marriage gives a man his own wife for pleasant company, mutual help, and sexual pleasure (Eccl 4:9-12; 9:9; I Cor 7:1-5). But sin in Eden and ever since has corrupted God’s design, and proud and selfish women become yapping, nagging irritants at home.
How does sin corrupt God’s creation (Eccl 7:29)? A man’s greatest pleasure becomes his severest pain! His greatest treasure his largest loss! His best friend his worst enemy! His source of peace and comfort his endless misery (Pr 12:4)! When the tortured victim realizes his grave error, his spirit is stricken, and he is forced to surrender and withdraw from her presence to find his only comfort in the quiet solitude of other pursuits.
A brawling woman is a quarrelsome, wrangling, clamorous, noisy, or bawling woman. You have mostly heard her – she is usually talking, correcting, debating, scolding, suggesting, reminding, and otherwise making herself an unbearable nuisance. Attempts to correct her meet with failure, for her unruly pride cannot submit or shut up.
How widespread is the problem? Solomon warned five other times with proverbs similar to this one (Pr 12:4; 19:13; 21:19; 25:24; 27:15-16). It is a common problem, especially in this rebellious age, when women no longer know their God-ordained place. It is a dangerous trap waiting to entice young men by its bait and then spring shut on them.
It is better – do you hear the Preacher? He gave one of the wise priorities of life. It is better to live on the roof than in a large house with such a woman. It is better to be single, alone and lonely, than to cohabit with this onerous wretch in a joyless marriage. It is better to stay in the workshop making another piece of worthless furniture than to try to have any peace or pleasure with the female know-it-all that has taken over your house.
God, who created the woman for the man, declared that a meek and quiet spirit is of great price, far better than improving appearance (I Pet 3:3-4). External decorating can never cover the inward blemish of a contentious spirit (Pr 11:22; 27:15-16). He promised such a woman will be praised by husband and children (Pr 31:28). Such noble and virtuous women should be honored and praised, and the odious wives of this proverb should be ignored and slighted for punishment and an example to others (Pr 11:16; 26:1-12).
Young man, reject her! Thoughtless impulse, desperate need, or foolish infatuation will torment you for fifty years. Let married men meet and test your prospect and her mother; let them check for a whiff of that odious spirit. Any character flaw you find before marriage will be ten times worse later (Pr 30:21-23). And this deformity does not improve with age, but rather gets worse. Your only hope will be the mercy of death.
Henpecked husband, have you already married poorly? If she fears the LORD, take her to the Bible and help her read her Creator’s orders. Find a church where the man of God will rebuke and instruct her for you. Expose her to gracious women. If she does not fear the Lord, get some snacks and pick the corner of the roof with the least exposure.
Christian girl or woman, hate this repulsive creature as much as the strange woman. Listen for her constant chatter, foolish laughter, whining complaints, negative observations, rude interruptions, overbearing corrections, nagging reminders, selfish suggestions, or haughty questions. Vow before the LORD your God you will never live one day of her life. Vow that you will glorify God and adorn your sex by graciousness.
Submission is your role and duty (Eph 5:22-24); rejecting it destroys your true beauty. Graciousness will get you perpetual respect (Pr 11:16); reverence will earn you constant esteem (Eph 5:33; I Pet 3:5-6); reserved speech will exalt your name and reputation (Pr 17:27). Be quiet – surely you know what this word means. Be meek – endure offences rather than avenge them or defend yourself. You will be praised by both God and men.