Justin Davis and his wife Trisha have a marriage blog called www.refineus.org. Justin was asked at signing of their book call “Beyond Ordinary: When a Good Marriage Just Isn’t Enough” what is the one avoidable mistake you see couples make that I can learn from? After dealing with initial pressure of having to pinpoint just one thing, Justin wisely answered that the one thing missing from most marriages is gentleness.
There really is such wisdom in that. Philippians 4:5 exhorts us to “let your gentleness be evident to all”. So, what exactly IS true gentleness? Well, Justin says it’s a disposition. The dictionary defines gentleness as “the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered.” Justin says in your marriage relationship that “gentleness refuses to give level ten responses to level two issues”. Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” in the Bible does not mean weakness. We know true gentleness when we see it, it is strength under control. We are all strong. We are all powerful. We can speak words to influence others and act in ways that help or hurt others. True gentleness contains the power that we have and uses it for good, and not evil.
Justin says “Harshness might make someone obedient or compliant, but gentleness wins their heart.”
Many of us are familiar with the scripture passage from Galatians 5:22-23 which says:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
For those of us who follow God, the longer we do walk with Him, the more gentle we should become. Truth is, we should strive to show gentleness not just in our marriage relationship, but in all our relationships. Think how that would impact our world?