I’m on a journey of learning how to do relationships in a healthier, God-directed way! I don’t know about you, but, in the past, when I got really disappointed in my husband or anybody, I tended to go in one of two unhealthy directions. 1) I avoided the potential conflict entirely by clamming up, putting up an ice shield, and then spiraling down into toxic resentment or 2) I let my tongue run wild and blasted the person with both barrels! Neither one of these options yielded good results.
God’s way is so much different and better! He says in Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Gentle words. Gentle words. Gentle words. I need to remind myself of this! God is saying that we can avoid a nasty argument if we speak gently and kindly and maybe even assume the best about the other person instead of giving full vent to our anger.
I vividly remember when I put this into practice about a year ago. My husband was really stressed as we were on a long-distance drive. I was attempting to help with googling a gas station, but my phone ran out of data. Ugh. Then he started getting really sharp with me in his tone. I mean…REALLY sharp. I felt disrespected. And oh boy, I decided that I didn’t deserve that tone and that I was going to tell him what a jerk he was. Yeah, pastor’s wives don’t always have gracious thoughts apparently. Sigh.
Anyway, somehow God got my attention before I blasted him and God reminded me of Proverbs 15:1. So, I bit my tongue until we got all the way home, and as my husband was about to exit the car, I turned to him, laid a hand softly on his arm and said gently, “I know you love me and you would never intend to hurt me, but the way you talked to me back there was not okay. Please don’t talk to me like that again.” And that was that. No big blow-up. He didn’t feel condemned because I affirmed that I know he loves me. With God’s prompting, I was able to defuse the nasty argument before it could start. Gentle words. Gentle words. Gentle words. Let’s all remember that!