Would You Rather?

Proverbs 21:19.

“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” (KJV).

A Simple Youth Group Game:

Today’s Proverb made me think of a game that I used to play with our church’s youth group called “Would You Rather?” Typical questions would include, “Would you rather… share a bed with a skunk, or with a porcupine?” “Would you rather… be rich and ugly, or poor and good looking?”

After the students answered the question, I would usually ask them why they chose the answer they picked. Most of the choices in the game are unappealing, but in choosing the less-unappealing one, it is designed to reveal something about their interests and values.

Two Places to Live:

The above Scripture gives us two different options: To live in the wilderness, or to live with a contentious and an angry woman. Which would you rather? To help you answer the question, let us look at what each of the two different options entail:

What does it mean to live in the wilderness? In John Gill’s commentary on this Proverb, he describes it as, “Where persons live without shelter, and are not only exposed to storms and tempests, but to beasts of prey; where there is lack of the necessaries of life.” That doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? Who would want to live there?

The other option is to live with a contentious, angry woman. The word contentious means tending to argument or strife; quarrelsome. The word angry means a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath. That doesn’t sound very appealing either, does it?

A No-Brainer:

One of my favourite Scriptures is Deuteronomy 30:19. God says, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” The reason I like it is because God gives people a choice: “You can choose life or death, blessing or cursing – the choice is yours.” But then He adds these three little words that make me chuckle. “Therefore, choose life.” In other words, in case you missed this no-brainer, choose life, people!

In today’s Scripture, God tells us the answer to the question about which is better – to live in the wilderness (without shelter, exposed to storms, wild animals and the elements), or to live with a contentious, angry woman. He says, “It is better to live in the wilderness!”

How do we apply this Scripture to our lives? To young single people I would say: The most important decision you will ever make in your life (after making Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour) is the choice of the person you are going to marry. Since marriage is for life, choose wisely. (Otherwise, one day you may find yourself wishing you were living in the desert). And secondly, to a wife I would say – don’t be angry or contentious, or your husband will be wishing he was in the wilderness!


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