I preached a sermon on 1 Peter 3:1, which instructs wives to “win over their husbands without a word.” In other words, wives should strive to avoid nagging their husbands.
Soon after I saw a Danish study conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health: “Stressful social relations and mortality: a prospective cohort study.” The study suggests:
Husbands of nagging wives can actually be nagged to death. This significantly shortens one’s life, and could result in three extra deaths per 100 people per year.
The study followed nearly 10,000 men and women between the ages of 36 and 52 for 11 years. The researches found:
The stress of constant moaning can weaken the body’s immune system. People nagged by spouses are more likely to get heart disease and cancer.
Dr. Lund, the author of the study, blamed stress for causing the early deaths as it triggers high blood pressure and other issues. He said:
Excessive demands – or nagging – can more than double the risk of death in middle-age; it can lower the immune system and lead to other health problems.
Nagging affects men and women, but it’s worse for men
Nagging negatively affects women, which means men aren’t excused from being challenged by the results. But men find themselves particularly at risk—more than twice as likely to die as women. Unlike women, men don’t share their problems with close friends or family. Many men only confide in their wives who, unfortunately, happen to be the very person causing them grief. Dr. Lund said, “The one person [husbands] have as a confident is actually the one putting the [stress] on them.” The study suggested going to work could provide relief, because it gets husbands away from the source of their stress. Men who are unemployed are more likely to die demonstrates this fact.
The study confirms what God’s Word says
A nagging wife damages her marriage and her husband…
- The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping (Proverbs 19:13b).
- Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious (Proverbs 21:9 & 25:24).
- Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman (Proverbs 21:19).
Nagging makes a husband want to get as far away from his wife as possible. He would rather be on the corner of a rooftop or in the wilderness.
Proverbs 27:15-16 A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious (or nagging) woman are alike; Whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand.
Restraining a nagging wife is impossible. It’s like trying to restrain the wind or pick up oil with your hand. When you try to restrain a nagging or contentious wife by responding, it makes her more contentious. She engages in even more nagging! All you can do is climb to the corner of a rooftop or dwell in the wilderness to get away from her.
What should a wife do?
Here’s an excerpt from my book, Marriage God’s Way:
If a wife wants her husband to read God’s Word more, pray more, or be a godlier man, rather than nagging him, she herself should read God’s Word more, pray more, and be a godlier woman. Wives should be encouraged by Jesus’s promise to send the Holy Spirit in John 16:8: “When [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world of sin.” Notice the emphasis is on the Holy Spirit doing the convicting. This includes husbands, unbelieving or otherwise! Wives are not supposed to take over the Holy Spirit’s role in their husbands’ lives. Wives should pray, and then trust the Holy Spirit to do the work Jesus promised He would do.
No husband can sit at home being unspiritual and lame while watching his spiritual wife without feeling ashamed. A husband might pretend that he is not convicted, and his wife might not be able to tell by looking at him that he feels convicted, but he does. In contrast, when a wife is unsubmissive, angry, and nagging, the husband does not see God through her and as a result avoids feeling convicted at all.
- Do you have any marriage questions? If so, send them to me. Katie and I want to answer them on Facebook Live.
- What solutions do you see for husbands and wives when it comes to nagging? Share your answers in the comments section!