Last week we discovered a leak in our laundry area. It wasn’t a bad leak, but it was a consistent one. Every second or so, one drop would fall. It didn’t seem like much, so I tried to just wipe away the drops. However, they quickly reappeared. I wasn’t too concerned until I put a towel beneath it. Several hours later, the towel was soaked. What started out as a minor annoyance was quickly revealed to be a major problem. You wouldn’t have known from looking at it but that tiny, single drop falling with regularity could cause significant damage. It was a small symptom of a severe issue.
It may sound odd, but Scripture says nagging our spouse is similar to that laundry room situation (See Proverbs 27:15). Just like the leak we had, it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal at first. A reminder here, and a prod there, and we think that we are “helping” our spouse complete what we want accomplished. Slowly, however, this leads to a quarrelsome attitude which becomes the default for how we interact. Instead of showing love and respect, we’re correcting and reminding. Instead of gratitude for all they do, we’re keeping tally of all they don’t. Just like the leak, our nagging may seem inconsequential but can lead to major damage. What started out as a single drop, quickly becomes a puddle of discontent and discord. It also is a small symptom of a major issue.
In order to fix our laundry room leak, we had to figure out the root cause. We had to look beyond the drops that were falling to find the source of the damage. Similarly, if we are constantly correcting, prodding and as a result, demeaning our spouse, we need to discover the root heart issue that is leading to that situation. We need to ask God to reveal where the fractures in our relationship are, and work to repair those. Simply brushing aside the drops of water didn’t do much, and neither will simply resolving not to nag without addressing the heart issues that are causing those words to leave our mouth. Just like the drops, the quarrelsome attitude will quickly reappear. But if we repent of and correct the sin in our own hearts that leads to those things, then we can trust that just like repairing the cause of the leak, the drops of discontent and discord will also cease.