Always Stay Humble and Gentle
By: Carrie Lowrance
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves in the Spirit, binding yourselves together in peace.” - Ephesians 4:2-3
Have you ever had one of those weeks with your spouse? Work and family responsibilities are tugging at you from all sides, and your spouse can’t even remember to pick up a gallon of milk or the dry cleaning. They are late to pick up the kids from sports or dance class, and you’re stuck in traffic. You have to stay up late to finish a work project, and they are watching television loudly in the next room. You are so frustrated you don’t know what to do.
Maybe you’re the spouse that’s forgetting everything. You have so much on your mind that you forgot to pick up what your spouse asked you to. You heard them when they asked and acknowledged them, but when your boss asked to speak to you in his office at the end of the day, that gallon of milk was the last thing on your mind.
Then tonight your work meeting lets out fifteen minutes later than planned, and now you will be late picking the kids up from their after-school activities. You’re so glad to finally have the kids in bed so you can have some downtime and watch television. Then you hear a disgruntled sigh from the other room, realizing this is the night your wife or husband needs to stay up to finish an important project for work tomorrow.
By the end of the week, you are both worn out and ready for a fight. Still, is this how we are supposed to treat each other in a marriage? Are we supposed to get into a fight and battle it out until we decide who is or is not right? Of course not.
We are supposed to talk things out in a gentle, humble, and kind way. Screaming and yelling at each other, not only doesn’t solve anything, but it also shows that the enemy is wriggling his way into our union. Instead, sit down with each other and talk about your stresses during the week and how it affected you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Take some time to look at things from the other person’s perspective.
Everyone has faults. One of your spouse’s weaknesses may be that they genuinely have a hard time remembering things, and when they are stressed, it makes it even worse. Your fault may be that you don’t always pay attention to how your spouse's week is going in general and you unintentionally put more stress on them. You knew each other’s faults and weaknesses when you got married, so this is nothing new. Both spouses need to practice patience with each other when they are struggling with their weaknesses.
Sometimes when there is discord in a marriage, it’s a sign of us being distant from God. It’s effortless to get caught up in the whirlwind of our lives and not take the time to spend time with God as a couple. When this happens, we need to slow down, ask for God’s forgiveness, and commit an appointed time every day to spend time together in His presence. This will look different for different couples. You may pray together for fifteen minutes before going out the door in the morning. You may get up early together and have Bible reading and devotions before the kids get up and your morning kicks into high gear. Other times you may spend time in devotions and prayer before you go to bed.
The next time you and your spouse hit a rough spot, take these steps to get back on track with God and each other.
- Sit down and talk about the issues that you are dealing with. Remember to be humble, gentle, and kind to each other. If you need to wait until your emotions simmer down, do so.
- Each of you needs to admit your faults and where you dropped the ball. Be honest with each other and apologize.
- Reaffirm your love for each other with words, a hug, or a kiss.
- Ask for God’s forgiveness for drifting away from him.
- Commit to each other and God when you will have your devotional and Bible study time together.
Carrie Lowrance is a writer and author. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Crosswalk, and Same Journey. She is also the author of two children’s books, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green) and Brock’s Bad Temper (And The Time Machine). You can find out more about Carrie and her writing at www.carrielowrance.com.
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Originally published Friday, 15 July 2022.