“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”
Has anyone noticed that this is the second time Solomon has said something about angry women? It was only ten verses ago that he said it was better to “dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house (verse 9).” Do you think that Solomon could have been having marriage problems?
One of the great ironies in history is that the wisest man to ever live had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3)! One would think that with so much wisdom a man might have figured out a thing or two about the nature of women, but evidently he was either deficient in this one area, or a glutton for punishment. I am not as wise as Solomon, but even I could tell you that having more than one wife might be a bad idea, especially when you’re intending on sharing your life with a thousand! Good grief!
Solomon had a weakness for the opposite sex and all the money in the world to support his habit. 1 Kings 11:3 even says that his wives “turned away his heart” from God. In order to keep them happy, he built altars to other gods. As wise as he was, women were his downfall.
I tend to wonder what kind of “man cave” Solomon had. With all those wives and concubines, can you imagine how many tempers were constantly flaring? Can you imagine how many grudges were being held? When 2 or 3 women go to the ladies room together, rumor has it that they talk about us men. Can you imagine what emotional issues a harem full of women could talk about? And don’t you think they constantly blamed Solomon for everything?
It should come as no surprise that both times Solomon mentions women in this chapter he references emotion. After nearly 20 years of marriage and three daughters to my credit, I can speak from experience that women know how to get angry and stay angry. Women are different than men (duh!). It takes a wife that is filled with the Spirit to overcome her tendency to seethe over something stupid her husband did 10-15 years ago.
Advice for Solomon
It may be a little late, but if I could go back in time I would give Solomon a bit of humble advice. I would say to him, “King Solomon, sir, I have a few suggestions that could help you maintain peace in your palace, should you choose, in your wise and awesome wisdomness, to listen.”
- Find that ruby of a woman and make her a solitaire. One rare one is far better than a chest full of imported cubic zirconia.
- Treat your wife with humility, love, and respect. An unloved and disrespected woman is an angry woman.
- Money is great, but time is priceless. Spend time with your wife doing things she wants to do. A lonely woman is a bitter woman.
- Worship the True God with your wife, not the idols of the world. Don’t marry outside the faith expecting to change her. Find a woman that loves the Lord and love Him with her. A woman at odds with you is a contentious woman.
Then I would say, “Choose to do otherwise, dear king, and you might as well go live in the wilderness.”