.           all rights belong to Tanis Harms –
.             refer to

QUARRELSOME QUARTERS - written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC:       arguing, nagging, selflessness, relationships
SCRIPTURE:   Prov.19:13, 21:9, 26:21, Matt.7:12,
.            1Cor.13:5, 1 Tim.3:3
Style:       drama/conversation: a counselor gets a couple
.            to try treating each other like they
.            themselves would want to be treated
Set & Props: 3 chairs


(ALL enter and sit down.)

COUNSELOR  So how is married life?

HUSBAND    Not so good.

WIFE       Obviously, he has problems –
.          why’d you think we’re here?

HUSBAND    I have problems?
.          You are the problem, babe!

COUNSELOR  Wouldn't you agree –
.          that you BOTH have problems?

(HUSBAND and WIFE eye each other competitively.)

HUSBAND    I would be fine if she didn’t nag
.          all the time.

WIFE       (gasps) And I wouldn’t have to nag,
.          if you’d pull your weight around the house.

HUSBAND    I work very hard – at wooorrrrk.
.          What do you do?

WIFE       What do I do?  I do everything else –
.          that’s more than what you do.

COUNSELOR  Okay-okay.  Speaking of work –
.          how’s this all working for you?

WIFE       It’s not.                                      2

COUNSELOR  Would you say that the problem
.          is the division of the workload?

HUSBAND    I would say if she’d not always be
.          on my case all the time –

WIFE       “Always” and “all the time”
.          is the same thing - duh.
.          When you overemphasize, you become redundant
.          and thus become negative.

HUSBAND    You’re redundant!
.          You’re always correcting me.

COUNSELOR  Whoa!  Why don’t we try some role-playing?
.          You know, switch roles.  You be your wife,
.          and you be your husband. (to WIFE) Okay?
.          So - you’ve just come home from work...

WIFE       Hey!  Where’s supper!

HUSBAND    I refuse to make supper.
.          I had a very busy day spending
.          all your hard-earned money
.          going to the spa and doing my nails –

(COUNSELOR puts a weary hand to his head.)

WIFE       I do not just do that!
.          We have 4 children, and they cost money!

COUNSELOR  Okay.  Clearly this is not working.

HUSBAND    You think!

WIFE       See how insensitive he is?!

COUNSELOR  Do you know what I think?  I think
.          you both just love to fight,
.          and be contentious.  Both of you nag.
.          And you nag just to start up a fight.
.          And then you fight to win.
.          But what do you exactly win?

WIFE       The - argument.
.                                                         3
COUNSELOR  What is the point?  What is the payoff?
.          Really, what - do you get out of it?

HUSBAND    Power?

WIFE       Control?

COUNSELOR  You’re controlling nothing,
.          especially yourself.
.          Now, if you would get along –
.          then you'd both win.

WIFE       How in the world would we try
.          to – get along?

COUNSELOR  Try this: stop being selfish –
.          try being selfLESS.
.          Put the other person and their feelings first.

HUSBAND    But then she’ll just get her way.

COUNSELOR  (to HUSBAND)  Forget about getting YOUR way.
.          (to WIFE)  Or YOUR way.
.          You need to figure out
.          THE way you will both be happy.
.          If you BOTH work on that,
.          you will BOTH be happy.

HUSBAND    (doubtful)  O-kaayyy, and WHEN
.          we put the other person FIRST,
.          how do we know exactly what to do?

COUNSELOR  You know the Golden Rule?
.          Do to others what you
.          would have them do to you... Think about,
.          "How would I like to be treated?"
.          And then do THAT for the other person.
.          EXAMPLE:  You come home after work,
.          and you want the house neat,
.          but it isn't.  Your wife is STILL working.
.          If you were HER, what would YOU want?

HUSBAND    I'd - want the other person
.          to help me out a bit.

(HUSBAND and WIFE look at each other.)
.                                                         4
WIFE       Huh! It’s so crazy it just might work.

HUSBAND    SOUNDS easy enough.

COUNSELOR  You’ve had many years to reinforce
.          what you’ve been doing thus far.
.          Don’t rely on your first gut response
.          for a while.  Think before acting.
.          And don’t forget to pray!
.          This wooonn’t be easy.
.          This will take LOTS of prayer –
.          and LOTS of practice.

(WIFE and HUSBAND get up to leave.)

HUSBAND   (to COUNSELOR)  Thank you.
.         (to WIFE)  After you.

WIFE       No, after you.

HUSBAND    Noooo, I insist –

COUNSELOR  It’s still not a competition.

(COUNSELOR slaps forehead in frustration and pushes
the two out.)