Miracles from a Gentle Answer
A gentle answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1, NIV
Fourteen hours after leaving for the office at daybreak, I (David) drove home for the night. I was angry. I was angry about people's incompetence and about how they had unnecessarily prolonged my day. "If only everyone else was like me, we wouldn't have such mix-ups," I fumed to myself.
It was well after dark when I thundered into the house, my feelings of martyrdom running high. Teresa was still awake. She had graciously reheated my dinner and greeted me warmly. "Honey, you look like you had a really hard day," she said. "I'm so sorry."
"Yeah, well you'd look bad too if you'd gone through what I've gone through today!" I blurted back. The wound was struck. Teresa stood there, hurt and shocked at my insensitive, angry response.
My wife stood silent for about ten seconds—ten seconds that seemed to last forever. Then she spoke with divinely empowered gentleness: "I can really see that you've had a hard day, and I'd like to visit about it if you would like. But it feels like you're taking it out on me, and that hurts:'
When I heard her gentle answer, the Holy Spirit convicted me. There was only one response the Lord would allow: "You're right.” I said. "It was wrong of me to hurt you with my anger. Will you forgive me?"
My wife's response was such a beautiful example of offering a gentle answer when she was attacked. She could have responded defensively, but instead she answered with godly gentleness.
How do you usually respond when you are faced with your spouse's anger or frustration? What steps can you take to make sure your response is a loving and gentle one?
Lord, remind me to respond with divinely empowered gentleness when I am faced with another's anger. Also help me to see beyond the fiery words of others to see the needs of their hearts.