Heather Marshall on September 17th, 2008

When I think of a nag, I think of someone who is old, wrinkly, and extremely ugly.  Why? Because that’s what a hag looks like (in my mind), and since the words rhyme and both describe a person (usually a female), I automatically link them together.  Maybe I’m the only person in the world who does this, but… in my mind, a nag and a hag are one and the same.  Perhaps that is why I realize and recognize the ugliness in nagging…

So, before we all disqualify ourselves as nags (as I would previously have done), let me define what a nag really is, according to thefreedictionary.com…

Let’s start with Nag, the noun:

  1. someone (especially a woman) who annoys people by constantly finding fault
  2. a person who is not pleasant or agreeable

And now Nag, the verb:

  1. To annoy by constant scolding, complaining, or urging
  2. To scold, complain, or find fault constantly
  3. To torment persistently, as with anxiety or pain
  4. To be a constant source of anxiety or annoyance

Remember, too, that to be Gracious is to be helpful, considerate, generous, polite, and kind.  How does nagging fit into that? (Hint: It doesn’t!).

If you nag at your husband… if you annoy and torment him by finding fault, being disagreeable, scolding, complaining, or urging him to do a particular thing, you are not being the wife that God has called you to be!  God wants us to encourage each other, to lift each other up, not tear down.  He wants us to respect our husband, and willingly submit to his authority, without grumbling and complaining. (Don’t believe me? Click on the links to see the related Scripture verses!)

So, let’s examine our lives…  are we nagging our husbands? Or are we being considerate and gracious?

Here’s a simple quiz I found, and tweaked a bit to fit this subject… be honest, and see how you score!! Give yourself 1 point for each “Yes” answer…

  1. Have you told your husband you wish he made more money?
  2. Do you frequently remind your husband to pick up after himself?
  3. Do you dislike your husband’s family or friends and tell him about it?
  4. Do you criticize his bad habits?
  5. Do you contradict your husband in front of the children or your friends?
  6. Do you joke about him being “less than romantic” around friends?
  7. Do you tell him that he rarely lifts a hand to help you?
  8. Have you told your husband you wish he was more spiritual, a stronger leader, or like someone else you admire (like a Pastor or your father)?
  9. Do you stop him from eating too much or remind him not to eat certain foods?
  10. Do you force him to talk if something is bothering him?

To find out whether you are nagging your husband, add your “yes” answers, then check your total against the scoring key below.

    0-3 You’re a Gracious Wife!! Most likely, you don’t nag your husband, and I’m sure he’s grateful for that! Keep up the great work!

    4-6 You tend to nag at times, but you can improve simply by taking a close look at the questions you answered with a “yes,” then changing those things. Keep on Striving!

    7-10 You are a Nagging Wife.  You tend to irritate your husband. Even if you feel that he is the one annoying you, it’s time to take a look at your own part in the unpleasantness.  Look at the areas above where you answered “yes,” and strive to improve in those areas!  With the Holy Spirit’s help, you can change… and your husband will notice!

I hope you found the quiz helpful, and not offensive in any way.  I know that I am striving to be a Gracious wife, right along with you.  Nagging is not one of the areas I struggle with personally (I scored a 1 - it used to be a 2, but I fixed that one!), but some of these other areas that I touch on this series are still a struggle for me.  I want to encourage YOU, if this is YOUR struggle area, let me know, and I will pray for you.  Trust me, I will be asking for prayer when it’s me struggling!!

Leave your comments, let me know how you scored… if you scored low, I’d love to hear what you DO struggle with  - what keeps you from being a Gracious Wife?  I have plans to cover a few more topics in this series, but I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions!!

Keep on Striving!


Related posts:

  1. The Gracious Wife versus The Angry Wife
  2. The Gracious Wife versus The Sarcastic Wife
  3. What Defines a Gracious Wife?
  4. Some Final Thoughts on Being a Gracious Wife
  5. Small Victories + Every Day = A Striving Wife!

20 Responses to “The Gracious Wife versus The Nagging Wife”

  1. Thank you for your blog. Several years ago an email asked friends to describe you with one word. Someone closest to me described me as “striving” and when I looked up the definition, I hated it. I felt like others saw me as one who was always attempting to complete something and never finishing task. I have felt the negative labeling intensely ever since.

    Your blog is refreshing in that I realize that the word can have positive connotations and that I do not strive alone. My score was 2, but I know I should not be proud of it. I fear that it is the words I don’t say that damage as much as the ugly words I might say.

    Blessings in your life

  2. Okay - so I scored a “5″ - I need some work and MUCH prayer as I don’t want to be a nag/hag! I want to encourage and edify my dear hubby!!!!

  3. Put your hands up if you’re sorry for my husband… I scored an 8!!!!!!!! WOW! I don’t really know what else to say… I feel like the I must look like the HAG on the inside!!

  4. Update: My battery died on my car yesterday and my husband came to my aid, giving me a divine opportunity to thank him, praise him, and affirm him and I can tell he was glad to hear it from me.

    God’s so good like that, isn’t He? I started the day with a vow to myself and God to speak no negative words to him or about him and God added this wonderful opportunity. Woo Hoo!

  5. Ladies, thanks for your candidness…

    Michele, Rachel… Don’t be upset by high numbers… use that as a guide to see what needs to be worked on! I’ll bet, given a few weeks of prayer and striving, your numbers will change!! :)

    T.Renee, welcome to TheStrivingWife.com!! So glad that you’ve seen the positive side of striving! As long as we’re striving to be more like Christ, striving for a heart like His, it’s a good thing. So glad to hear of your opportunity to encourage your husband. Keep up the great work!

    Keep on striving, ladies! God bless!

    PS - This has been such a hectic week, and the next one coming will be almost just as busy (hubby’s birthday is this week, too!). I promise a new blog post is coming soon! Keep checking back…

  6. See, the issue here is that if I send my wife this link, she’s going to blow up. Yet when I counted the above, I scored my wife a 9! YES a 9! Now I wish she could come across this but it would be fire and brim stone. She loses me further and further with almost every day that passes..


  7. Al, I’m so sorry to hear that! I will be praying for you & your marriage…. but I highly suggest that you both read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s not a cure-all, but it sure can’t hurt!

  8. My husband and I are “learners” we love to read and learn ways to improve our marriage. We have read tons of these kind of Christian marriage books, but by far, the best is “Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs” by Emerson Eggerichs.
    Talk about cut and dry! This is such a simple concept yet its LIFE CHANGING!!!!!! Please please look into getting it. I sat at the kitchen table reading it and just wept. It was like reading a journal of our daily lives. Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

  9. Do you have a test for the men?

  10. Wow! What a horrible eye opener. I scored a 9. This makes me sad and horrible. I need lots of prayers. I will strive to not be a nag because it causes so many arguments and srife and other problems in my marriage. One concern though is that what about when you do all these and your husband doesn’t respond? Because honestly I use to not do all these things but my husband wasn’t stepping up to the plate, so to say, as other sites and books said he would take notice in my actions and follow. Some days he does and some days he doesn’t. Do I always do this even if he falls short?

  11. Hi, I’m a married man and I have always thought a man can help his nagging wife overcome this problem, by loving unconditionally the way Christ loves the Church even with all our imperfections. It’s tough to love when you’re the victim of nagging but that’s where God’s grace comes in and that’s the true test of love. God bless you.

  12. I too have the same issue as Al K. Not sure what to do. I’m not saying that I have not had issues in the past, but I’m seriously trying to change and she keeps bringing up my faults from the past and nothing I do is ever right. I am not sure how to tell her that she does this without causing even more of a fight, but she too is losing me on a daily basis it seems we drift further and further apart. I don’t even feel like having intimacy with her because of this very reason. I truly do love her but not sure what i’m going to do. Please pray for us, we need all that we can get.

  13. i am not a married lady but i’m looking for a gentle man.

  14. I can’t hold myself when my husband lies. Even when he knows i’ve known the truth. He’ll keep lying. I’ll cry and argue for him to see that i know the truth. Am i really a nagging wife cos that is what he’s calling me now. I need help pls.

  15. I scored a 7! I need help. I’m working on it…no wonder there’s strife in my marriage

  16. When we argue my husband calls me a nag. I see myself as fairly flexible and try hard not to complain so found this website to clarify in my own mind the definition of nagging. It helped. There is much more to it than I realized. I scored a 3 or 4 depending who is scoring it, so I will try to tweek myself a bit if I want to strive for graciousness. What I dont understand is what women are to do if it is their man that is doing the nagging- as in how many yes’s does he have.? That is what usually drives me out of my gracious attitude!

  17. I scored a 6…I knew that I was a nagger before I took the quiz, but this helped to put it into perspective for me a little more. I definitely need prayer. I love my husband and we don’t have any issues, but I know personally that I want to strive to be that wife that the Lord called me to be. I want my husband to know that even if he wasn’t able to pick up his dirty clothes or sweep the kitchen floor or anything else, I still love him. I want to be a gentle, patient wife. I already have muliple women praying for me due to this “side” of me. Thank you for blogging about this.

  18. 2.Do you frequently remind your husband to pick up after himself?
    We teach our children to pick up after themselves since they are very young in age. Kindergarten teachers encourage little ones to do the same.
    Why would you not expect the adults in your household to do the same? What kind of example as a man of Christ does the husband provide for the rest of the family?
    7.Do you tell him that he rarely lifts a hand to help you?
    The bible speaks about the lazy hands and man or woman. But the wife could quote the bible verses about lacking motivation and energy to work instead of using the phrase he rarely lifts a hand to help you.
    9.Do you stop him from eating too much or remind him not to eat certain foods?
    Indeed, I want my husband to live a long life through Jesus Christ, be healthy and feel happy about himself and his own body and also remind me of the same things. It’s part of building each other up, and encourage each other to the right thing at all times.

    This article is pretty bias.

  19. Wow, ¶ love this ¶ think ¶ scored 6 pls pray for me.


  1. Choose Your Words Wisely (Part 2)

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