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.
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.
Nagging has the same effect as a leaky roof; drip by drip it causes damage within a home. Don’t distract yourself with containing the drops, focus instead on the leak itself. Remember that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” You may need to wait for the storm to subside before you attend to the leaks, in the meantime it is of no help to succumb to annoyance.
“Restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.” None of these things are worth the effort, they will consume your energy and leave you frustrated. Restraining her is vanity, but you can restrain yourself. There is an ache beneath the nagging, which you have the opportunity to soothe. Maneuver around the complaints, embrace the opportunity, and address the wounded heart behind the hurtful remarks.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” While quarreling dulls goodwill, effective communication sharpens it. When you see the flaws in another person it is of no use to complain about them. Your own flaws are not as hidden as you think, encourage others and they will encourage you. Positive influence comes with friendship, while criticism leads to contempt.