I texted my husband with a question in the morning, and he didn’t mention the text later when I called, so I was chilly when we spoke that night. Over the course of the day I had parlayed the slight oversight into a whole theology on marriage: “If I can’t have the hotline to my own husband, then, well, what kind of world is this!”
The man didn’t know what was hitting him as we debriefed over the day’s events, with me doing a classic stereotyped performance of the sulking wife. He asked, “Is something wrong?” I answered, curtly, “Nothing.”
Just before putting my head on the pillow I opened the Bible at random for a verse to fall asleep by. My eye fell immediately upon the following:
“And I find something more bitter than death: the woman whose heart is snares and nets, and whose hands are fetters” (Ecclesiastes 7:26).
Right between the eyes.
I looked up the words. Snare: “a trap for catching birds or animals.” Net: “a length of open-meshed material made of twine, cord, or rope, or something similar, used for catching fish or other animals.” Fetter: “a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner.”
The woman whose heart is a snare is a woman capable of finding offense at the drop of a hat. Everything is a landmine with her. She has traps hidden inside every question. She is complicated, like a net, rather than simple, like a clear glass. She weaves a web to catch her prey and pounces when he is caught. She in violation of God’s rule for the good neighbor:
“Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you” (Proverbs 3:29).
I then turned to the famous chapter on the good wife and read the stark contrast to the woman of snares and nets:
“The heart of her husband trusts in her” (Proverbs 31:11).
This is the choice for the wife: to be a treacherous trapper or a woman who overlooks slights (Proverbs 19:11), to be a Sphinx who must be cajoled and coaxed, or an open-faced and open-hearted lover in whom the husband finds an oasis of rest and safety from the world. By the grace of God I can and will burn up my snares and nets and be the one my spouse can trust in.