A Practical Guide for Husband and Wife – Part 4

By Rabbi Zamir Cohen

We will conclude our four part series with a wonderful piece of advice given by the wisest of all men. It says in the book of Mishlei:[10] An irksome dripping on a day of rainy confinement and a contentious wife are alike.

In other words, rain that drips into a house on a rainy day is likened to a hostile and belligerent woman. By means of this verse, King Solomon is teaching the woman a major principle regarding the depth of her husband’s soul and the way in which he perceives the time he spends at home. A woman who internalizes this principle and conducts herself accordingly, is guaranteed to achieve peace in her home. Let us explain.

A man walks about on a rainy day, a day in which all the windows are shut and everyone is indoors. He becomes wet from head to toe. He walks home without complaining because he knows that rain is required and beneficial for the world. When he arrives home, he discovers that the rain is dripping into his house from the roof – he becomes troubled and begins to lose his temper.

We may ask him: When it came to the strong downpour outside you dealt with it in a peaceful manner, so how is it that a light drip can cause you to become so irritated? He replies with honesty: “When the storm is outside I’m willing to deal with it. However, at home, the place that’s supposed to be mine and my family’s shelter, I am unwilling to suffer and withstand any bit of dripping.”

The lesson here is clear. Naturally, the man is willing to deal with any battle or conflict outside his home; at work, at the bank, when he’s out shopping, running errands, and on his way home. After all, he’s the ‘foreign minister’ and he received the appropriate emotional tools to fill this role. However, it will be very difficult for him if his wife is an argumentative faultfinder who constantly instigates fights and conflicts. A man wants to feel like his home is his refuge – a warm and pleasant family nest in which he will find a resting place for all his daily troubles and vicissitudes. But when his wife is quarrelsome, his strengths become exhausted and he becomes an angry and impatient man who reacts in an extreme way to any kind of request anyone makes of him at home. This explains why some men tend to come home late after work. And women who complain about this do not understand that his lateness stems from the fact that he needs to relax after a day’s work and he knows that he won’t be able to do so at home – in fact, he knows the atmosphere will be anything but relaxed.

A woman who understands what the home means to her husband and understands that she is different than him in that the home for her is the center of her kingdom,[11] she will appreciate the deep-seated need that her husband has for a peaceful atmosphere at home. She will greet her husband in a pleasant manner when he enters the house – even if she herself also had a hard day (the opposite is also true – if the husband is home and his wife returns from work or shopping etc. the principle is: the one who is home greets the other one in a pleasant manner) she will ask him how he’s doing and will immediately make sure he eats, drinks, and rests from his day. And only after all of this, can she approach him with her troubles. And even then, she must do so in a calm manner, in a way where she is merely updating and discussing rather than using hurtful words and resentful comments. And when it is necessary for her to point something out, she must begin with praise and end with praise. A woman like this is a woman of valor! She’s the captain of the family ship and leads it with security to a wonderfully solid and long lasting environment of love, respect, peace and amicability.

Notes and Sources

[10] Mishlei 27:15

[11] The proof for this is if we ask a man who is walking home from work the following question: What do you plan to do when you get home? His answer will be: I plan to rest. On the other hand, if we ask a woman walking home from work what she plans on doing when she gets home, she will say: I plan to organize the house, clean, do laundry, cook etc.