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Inner Beauty

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What action can you take today to show your spouse gentleness and tenderness?

We were gentle among you, just as a . . . mother cherishes her own children. 1 Thessalonians 2:7

I (Teresa) recently helped out a friend of mine. Her husband was having minor surgery, but he was pretty apprehensive about it. She arranged for me to look after their young son so she could give her husband her full attention and energy. I went to the hospital to help care for the infant, and I learned a great lesson that day.

I could see my friend's gentleness in her gestures, in her speech—in her whole demeanor. She never showed irritation at her husband's complaints of pain or put him down for his anxiety. My friend kissed her husband and gently stroked his cheek as he went in for the surgery. She was at his side immediately after the operation, attending to his every need.

My friend inspired me to be more gentle toward David. I was motivated by her example, but also by how much her gentleness meant to the person on the receiving end.

In times past, I had little tolerance for David's physical complaints or emotional lows. There was a part of me that thought, He's a big boy! I shouldn't have to baby him. I've realized that although my husband is an adult, he still needs the same gentleness I've shown our kids. So I've begun to check my tone of voice and facial expression when David tells me about his backache. I've begun to carefully choose my words when I sense that David is stressed from a long day.

These acts of gentleness have meant a lot to him. I see David's pains ease a bit when I tenderly respond to him. His shoulders relax and his face softens when I show consideration for his needs at the end of a long day.

What action can you take today to show your spouse gentleness and tenderness?

Lord, help me be gentle toward my spouse in my attempt to meet his or her needs day by day.

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