A Sweet Response
From Marriage Wisdom for Her by Matthew Jacobson (used with permission)
Responding with sweetness when it isn’t deserved places love where it isn’t expected.
I recently had one of those difficult days Or, to be more accurate, I had a difficult week. And I was close to tears by late afternoon.
Matthew came into the room and asked me what was wrong and I hate to say it, but I snapped at him. He stared at me and I felt a bit of guilt for the hurt I saw there. I was taking it out on him and he didn’t deserve it.
But I was not feeling guilty enough to apologize. I was too wrapped up in my own struggles. I figured it was about to get ugly and, frankly, I had asked for it with my snotty attitude.
Then I saw his countenance visibly change – from offended to compassionate. He didn’t exactly understand where I was coming from, but then again, he didn’t need to. What mattered was that I was in a bad place.
His eyes softened. He reached out with a gentle touch. Asked me if I’d like to run into town with him. A mini-errand date. He also announced to the kids that Mommy was turning in early that night. And then later ran a bubble bath for me.
So yes, I did end up crying that evening, but these were very different tears. They were the tears that come when someone shows kindness to you that you didn’t necessarily deserve.
My husband is the hero in this story. But you know what? I learned something anew. I was reminded of the power of offering a sweet response in our marriage.
When your husband is having one of those days or one of those weeks, sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all. You can just look at your husband with loving eyes and communicate that you care and that you’ll always be there. Maybe reach for his hand or rub his knotted shoulders – all small gestures that can have a powerful effect on the man you love.
It’s even possible to completely turn around a tense situation by returning harsh or unjust words with a sweet response.
So I don’t know about you, but I’ve renewed my commitment to show kindness to my husband. Even those times when he doesn’t necessarily deserve it. Maybe even especially in those times. “A soft answer turns away wrath.” (Proverbs 15:1)
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to show kindness to my husband. Give me a soft heart toward him so that I can respond sweetly, even in those times when he’s not being sweet to me.
I pray that You will fill me with the love and compassion that can only come from You. Help me to learn to speak and act kindly toward him, no matter what the circumstances. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Challenge: If you’re convicted in how you’ve spoken or acted toward your husband, take the time to ask his forgiveness. Let him know you repent of your harshness – or even meanness – and that you are committed to growing in kindness toward him.
Thought for Today….
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