The Perfect Father’s Day Gift
By Jackie Kendall
Have you ever seen those ladders that have some “give” to them? They are sturdy but can bend a little when someone hurries up them. I told a group of women that I felt the perfect Father’s Day gift would be this ladder. Some 80 women looked at me quite puzzled with this particular gift suggestion. I assured them that I had a perfectly good reason for such a gift. I reminded them about the study we had been doing on the topic, “When a Man Doesn’t Need a Woman.” We had been talking about a woman’s tendency to want to control not only her children, but also her husband.
One of the most common techniques employed by women for control is nagging. Now, women hate the reference to nagging about as much as they hate the jokes about PMS. One day I mustered enough courage to read some of the common references on a nagging woman (see Prov. 19:13; 21:9,19; 27:15). One of the verses implies that a man is better off being a “roof-top dweller” (see Prov. 21:9) than living in a house with a nagging woman. As soon as I finished reading that verse, I saw a man placing a ladder on the side of his house and hurrying up the ladder to his roof. I started laughing at the thought of a man having to sit on his roof to escape his nagging wife and find a moment of peace with the God who made his wife!
Then I thought about the concept of a place that a man can hurry to when his wife begins to nag—so I brainstormed a trip to Home Depot where a woman could buy a ladder and place it on the side of her house with a ribbon around it for Father’s Day. Then the next time Mommy starts nagging Daddy, he can calmly walk out the door, climb the ladder, and wait for her to calm down. I envisioned a whole neighborhood where men were sitting on their rooves just after dinner. Just think of all the fights that this ladder could prevent. What a quiet but potent visual reminder that nagging never changed one individual on planet Earth!
As I thought about the escape ladder, the Lord showed me that most men already have their escape routes down pat—whether it is tinkering in the garage, hunting every weekend (see Prov. 21:19), glaring at the TV, or even sitting behind the newspaper. Each man develops his own technique of muting his wife’s voice. The saddest aspect of this reality is: When a man must develop a means of muting out his wife’s nagging voice, he also carelessly mutes out her voice of love, encouragement, wisdom, and respect.
I was overwhelmed when I asked my husband how he felt when he heard my angry, nagging voice. He said, “I feel powerless.” I now own that flexible ladder, and it is for me85I escape to a quiet place where my heavenly Bridegroom calms my heart so I nurture and not nag.
A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand (Proverbs 27:15-16).
(Adapted from “Surrender Your Jr. God Badge—Every Woman’s Struggle with Control”by Jackie Kendall)