We all know how to get dressed in the morning. It’s something I don’t give much thought to, except to make sure the shirt matches the pants and that I don’t forget my belt. This is because I’ve repeated this day after day after day. It is my normal routine.
How different our marriages would be if we would take the time to “clothe ourselves in meekness” each and every day.
If you haven’t had a chance to read Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ next transcript, I highly encourage you to. You’ll find it HERE. It won’t take more than 5 minutes, and it may speak to you more clearly than I can do on this blog post.
I strive to follow the biblical command to give a soft answer in order to turn away wrath. I don’t know why this Truth has been in the forefront of my conscience, but God has been kind to help me see the value of holding my tongue. Oftentimes I’ve been criticized for my lack of answering back. Yet waiting until the tone has cooled has proven to bring resolution to otherwise volatile situations. I thank God for this work in my heart.
At the beginning of our marriage I was much more inclined to give a quick answer, and Debi was even more spirited. We never had knock out, drag out fights, but we stewed in our anger and resentments towards each other. Eventually we would open upand bring our differences to the table so we could talk reasonably about the issue at hand. But sometimes it would take days. This is not what being meek looks like. It’s not keeping quiet in order to pout or withdraw. No, it’s purposing to take the hit until the right time comes around to talk. Sometimes the time never comes. It’s not that the issue wasn’t worthy of discussing, but by taking the meek road one often forgets what it was that caused the trouble in the first place.
Proverbs 19:11 says, “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Imagine how many heated arguments could be cooled if the husband or wife is committed to “overlooking an offense”. Now we’re not talking about serious sin issues here. There is definitely a time in all marriages where complete honesty and confessions need to be made in order for the marriage to grow and mature. I’m talking about the daily irritations, annoyances and such that can so often set us on edge. Here are a few examples:
- Debi not doing something I asked her to do, or doing it, but not the way I wanted!
- Not understanding why Debi did the things she did that seemed silly to me.
- Not having an orderly house!
- Coming home to mayhem at times and wishing Debi could just get it together.
As you can see, my expectations were all selfishly motivated. And I didn’t see it. There were many arguments we could have avoided if I had been meek, but God was at work. He is always at work in me, in my wife, and He is at work in your marriage as well.
Matthew Henry said,
If everything be not just to their mind [if everything is not just as we think it should be], they are fretting and vexing and their hearts are hot within them, finding fault with everything that is said or done to them.
A quiet spirit would reconcile us to the [position] we’re in and to all the difficulties of it, and would make the best of the present state, though it is attended with many inconveniences.
It is the [lack] of meekness that makes those whom divine Providence has put under the yoke impatient of the yoke.
It is for lack of meekness that we are so impatient of contradiction in our opinions, in our desires, in our designs.
Nancy says in regard to this quote:
It has to be our way, and we’re impatient if things don’t go our way. He says, “We must have our own saying, right or wrong, and everything our own way.” That makes us contentious and hard to live with.”
So, take some time this weekend to talk about your tendencies towards meekness with your spouse. Ask them honestly how you’re doing. And then ask for their help in helping you see it. It’s hard to change in an area we can’t see ourselves. Ask God and your spouse to open your eyes and guess what? They’ll both be glad to help you with such a meek request. But watch out – you may not like what you hear at first! But use what we learned last week – Think BEFORE you react!
Most of all remember this; it is all good, and we do this for God’s glory to shine all the brighter in our marriages.
How does meekness manifest itself in your marriage?
(Photo: By Bobby (Flickr: Preparation) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)