Preacher offers unexpected advice to man with cantankerous wife

You may have heard about the fellow who confided to the local preacher: “I’m absolutely convinced that my wife is going to poison me.”

The preacher was skeptical.

“I’m telling you, I’m certain she’s going to poison me. What should I do?”

“Let me talk to her,” the preacher said. “I’ll see what I can find out, and I’ll let you know.”

The next day, the preacher called the man and said, “I met with you wife, talked to her for three hours. You want my advice?”

“Yes,” the man said.

“Take the poison,” the preacher replied.

The Bible warns that people should choose wisely who they marry, because a disagreeable spouse can make life miserable.

“Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a brawling woman” (Proverbs 21:9).

We have too much strife in this world. We need more kindness, not just between husbands and wives, but also between siblings, friends, neighbors, co-workers, everyone.

I heard a story the other day about a woman who always enjoyed going to the post office because the employees were so kind. She walked in to purchase stamps during the Christmas season and found a really long line. Someone told her she wouldn’t need to wait in line because there was a stamp machine in the lobby.

“I know,” she said, “but the machine won’t ask me about my arthritis.”

How heartwarming is that? Kindness truly matters.

An old sermon illustration tells about a sad little boy who was walking through a busy city carrying a bag of fruit home to his family. A man bumped into him, causing the apples to scatter all directions. That man stopped only long enough to scold the boy for being in his way. Another man saw what had happened, wiped away the little fellow’s tears, gathered up his spilled fruit, put them back in the bag, and gave him a warm hug and $50.

“Hey, mister,” the little boy said. “Are you Jesus?”

“No,” the man replied. “I’m just one of his followers.”

If all of us were to behave like a follower of Jesus, this world would be a much friendlier place. Wives wouldn’t be trying to poison their husbands. And husbands wouldn’t be tempted to drink the poison.

Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at