Better to dwell in the corner of a roof
than with a quarrelsome wife in a spacious house.
So that your mind can stop racing, let’s say something about Solomonic era architecture: the house roofs were flat. Before I learned that I could never settle down and meditate on the point of the proverb. My concentration kept rolling off the roof.
While Solomon knew something about wives, he could also speak authoritatively on the plusses and minuses of spacious houses. As Solomon opens his front door with ‘Welcome to my humble abode,’ draw a breath and step into a foyer that’s 3,375 square feet. And you’ll have noticed there are no moths spinning around the porch lights: they took care of that by fashioning the entry with floor to ceiling, moth-repelling, Lebanese cedar.
Here’s a man that appreciates the finer things. But with that in mind now listen to him, as not once, but twice in the proverbs collection: Given a choice between her and the square feet, I’ll take the exposure to cold and rain and peace.
“Your majesty, begging your pardon. You’ve forgotten we’ve already chiseled in that proverb a couple chapters back. Perhaps we throw in another something on diligence or moderation here?”
“Let it stand. In fact I make a decree: The proverb will be quoted and expounded in the first and last five minutes of all pre-marital counseling sessions.”
I know nothing of the quarrelsome wife in my domestic experience. But I’ve heard. Joe spends too much money on the bills and he never does anything special for her. Joe doesn’t bring home enough money and also he never has time for her since he’s always working. Joe buys the wrong gifts because he’s never taken the time to understand her.
Why did Joe snatch her away from her perfect family? – she was happy before she met him. Why can’t Joe be more like her dad – he knew how to make a girl feel like a princess. Why doesn’t Joe just hurry up and admit that her family is a superior specimen of homo sapien?
What is it about Joe’s parents that is so repelling?… Ah, now I’ve got it – they’re so much like Joe.
Get off the couch and do something with your life Joe. Be more romantic Joe. It’s time you start spending more time with the kids Joe. Be more decisive, Joe.
Why did you make me have these kids and ruin my life? We never go out anymore! I don’t like your friends. I satisfy you but you don’t satisfy me. I should have married that other guy. Joe, why don’t you make me happy?
Etc. etc. and a whole lot worse of etc.
And so more and more Joe looks up, trying to recall if there’s more sun on the northern or southern exposure.