Which do you choose? Should I come with punishment and scolding, or should I come with quiet love and gentleness? 1 Corinthians 4:21, NLT
Weight control is a constant battle for me (Teresa). Often, I can become so wrapped up in trying to get my weight where I think it needs to be that I can lose balance in my thinking. It is during those times that I can become compulsive, short-tempered, or overly perfectionistic.
I say and do things that I later regret. I'm ashamed to say that I sometimes make life miserable for everyone around me.
It would be easy for my family to be impatient with me and to scold me for my attitudes and actions. But deep down they know that won't work.
They know what the apostle Paul knew. Scolding is hard and abrupt, but Christlike exhortation and correction, done in love and gentleness, is very effective.
When David sees me going over the edge in my compulsiveness or perfectionism, he gently exhorts me to rethink what I am doing and how I am behaving. It is a release and a comfort to know I can talk to David about my feelings, even—maybe especially—when they aren't very pretty. He listens to me and often prays with me. His exhortation always comes with patience and gentleness. I've never felt put down or belittled, and I know David would never use my weakness to tease or hurt me in any way.
When he treats me that way, I know that he is allowing God to work through him. Receiving loving and gentle correction from my husband often sets me on a new direction, freeing me to have a better perspective.
How do you correct your spouse? Do you scold or ridicule? Do you use sarcasm or sharp words? In what specific ways can you correct with loving gentleness?
Father, thank You for gently correcting me through my spouse. Help me to offer that same loving direction to others.