Fifteen Biblical Responses to A Contentious Person
1–Avoid Evil people when you can.
“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” (Romans 16:17–18, ESV)
2–As much as it is possible live at peace. Create spaces where you can remove yourself and do productive things.
“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18, ESV)
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13–14, ESV)
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 21:9, ESV)
“It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.” (Proverbs 21:19, ESV)
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” (Proverbs 25:24, ESV)
3–Love your wife like Jesus loves you. Don’t be harsh with her.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,” (Ephesians 5:25, ESV)
“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19, ESV)
4–Keep your promises to act in a loving way continually even if you are cursed or or hated or abused.
““But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.” (Luke 6:27–29, ESV)
Do projects that benefit the family. Arrange and care for the basement. Do storage projects. Don’t expect these will please her, but they are ways to love and invest and do good and live at peace. In the colder weather go down to the basement and make it extremely neat and orderly. Do projects down there that benefit your wife and home and family.
5–Make sure their curses are without cause:
“Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.” (Proverbs 26:2, ESV)
6–Show loving-kindness and tenderness whenever you can. Walk in the Spirit. Keep Continually obeying the impulses of the Spirit in the power of the Spirit even when you are hurt or sinned against and it will produce the fruit of the Spirit. (Walking in the Spirit is continually obeying the impulses of the Spirit in the power of the Spirit, which yields the fruit of the Spirit). Gal. 5
“Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19, ESV)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16–25, ESV)
7–Be like Jesus. Do not be selfish or think only of yourself. Give and serve others and lay down your life.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:1–16, ESV)
8–Do not get involved in argumentation and do not react sinfully to an attack.
“The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.” (Proverbs 17:14, ESV)
9–Don’t engage in conversation that is just a lure to attack.
““Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” (Matthew 7:6, ESV)
10–Don’t Try to correct her. She will only be more contentious. Let God deal with her.
“Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” (Proverbs 9:7–8, ESV)
“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one’s right hand.” (Proverbs 27:15–16, ESV)
11–Don’t blow up and vent your anger:
“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11, ESV)
12–Do not return anger for anger. Trust the Lord to judge.
“When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23, ESV)
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” (1 Corinthians 4:1–5, ESV)
13–Strengthen yourself and encourage yourself in the Lord. Deepen your relationship with God when you are being abused.
“And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (1 Samuel 30:6, ESV)
14–Always try to see yourself in the mirror before you look at the faults of the other.
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5, ESV)
In the presence of my enemy. Don’t tell her things. She will use what you say against you.
15–Leave all the children and other people completely out of it. It is not necessary or right to draw them into it. It is not their business. Keep them out of it. Don’t talk to other people about it. The only exception would be a qualified counselor.
Treat the Contentious Person As You Would An Enemy. Bless. Do Good. Pray (Matthew 5:44 NKJV)