“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
If there has ever been one verse to perfectly capture my husband’s heart for life, marriage and parenting – it would be this verse. He has modeled a soft answer in a way I have greatly needed.
Rewind the tape to my life as a young girl.
I was provoked by my friends and my brother (whom I love dearly today). They knew how to push my buttons to make me explode into a rage. My older brother actually enjoyed getting me to this point. 🙂 Yet they were not able to make me sin. They only revealed the sinful tendencies in my heart. I was an impatient and often angry girl.
When I got married life was wonderful. Tom looked after my needs and cared for me as his own. But when I had children (3 in 4 years), I suddenly realized my anger had not been provoked. It was not a pretty site. I am actually ashamed of how I was. So much so that I cringe whenever my children want to watch our old family videos. I’m certain I will hear my sinful heart spewing out in the background. It grieves my heart in a way no other sin has.
But all the while I had a husband who was patient, kind and understanding. He didn’t throw me under the bus for being angry and impatient. Instead, he loved me and helped me resist the sin that so easily tried to entangle me. Little by little, and bit by bit I have become more like my husband in giving soft answers. He has helped me by his example to be Christlike in my behavior. When I wasn’t, all I had to do was repent of my sin. My children loved me when I had wronged them. They loved me when I was unlovable. And so did Tom.
I am a blessed wife, mother and Nana, not because of the good I have done, but because of the good Christ has accomplished for me on the Cross. I had hope to change because He came and was tempted as I was tempted, yet without sin.
So, what areas are you struggling with in your life? Do you go to your spouse for help and advice? Don’t neglect the one with whom God has joined you as one flesh. They may be the answer for which you seek. They may have strengths from which you can draw when you need it most. This has certainly been the case in our marriage. God knew what we both needed in providing us with each other. I imagine He has done the same for you, but have you paused long enough to notice?
Do you give soft answers or are you more apt to be harsh? Honestly admitting the truth is the first step.