Scripture Passage: Proverbs 15:13-22
When husbands and wives play the parts that God has equipped them to play in their marriages, there is not mere melody, but wonderful harmony.
Perhaps one of the greatest obstacles to the music of marriage is tension in the home. Too much stress is dangerous to our homes, our health, and our happiness.
Proverbs 15 reveals four things to relieve stress in our families when the string snaps.
First, we must learn to laugh: “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13). Laughter is a gift from God, and sometimes it will take the tension out of the difficult circumstances we face.
Adrian Rogers says, “A merry heart is the ability to capture and enjoy those wonderful times of life, then let it turn to laughter.”
Second, we must cultivate contentment: “Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred” (Proverbs 15:16-17). We often think we have to have more, and that luxury will bring happiness. But many times, striving for luxury is what creates tension in the home. We must learn to be content with what we have, get our values in order. and beware of the tyranny of things.
Third, we must alleviate anger: “A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention” (Proverbs 15:18). Words, whether they be good or bad, build upon each other; we must learn to control our speech and how we speak to one another.
Finally, we must walk in wisdom: “Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly. Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:21-22).
It is good to know when it is time to bring counsel into the home. Every family has problems, but it is crucial to attack the problems, not each other. When stress and strife invade the home, the wisest thing a family can do is come together and seek counsel.
Is there tension in your home that is causing your family stress and strife? Before the string snaps, learn to laugh, cultivate contentment, alleviate anger and walk in wisdom.