Day 16: The Wisdom We Need Is Gentle - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals

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Scripture Focus: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17

 

One of our favorite ministries, Celebrate Recovery, was launched with help from Saddleback Church near our home in Southern California. CR, as it is known for short, is a ministry that reaches out to broken and hurting people, often those who are suffering with addictions, and offers them help and hope.

 

As we travel around the country we speak, teach, counsel, share with small groups, and participate in worship --- in these and other ways we celebrate with those who are in recovery. We especially value our times with the positive, encouraging, highly energized CR chapter in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Anytime we can be with this particular CR group, it feels like we are “coming home” and “getting together with family.”

 

CR meetings often include a key Scripture found in Galatians 6:1. If you find a brother who is in error and needs correction, Paul advises, you should work with him and restore him “gently.” In the Broken Arrow chapter meetings, the word “gently” gets special attention as this verse is read aloud in unison. When the group reaches the word “gently” --- everyone shouts it at high volume. YES!

 

It matters that we’re gentle with those in error, with those in need, and especially with our own life partners. It never ceases to amaze us, as we work with married couples, that a grown man can be extremely gentle with his Golden Retriever, or gentle and kind to a neighbor child, yet with his own wife this man yells, scolds, and criticizes.

 

How can this be? Why are we gentle with children and animals, yet harsh and strident with the ones we should love the most? We need the fruit of the Holy Spirit. We need wisdom from above. And we particularly need wisdom that is gentle.

 

For your personal reflection:

  • When I am speaking with my husband or wife, would anyone watching and listening describe my style as “gentle”?
  • Do I realize that it’s not just what I say, but how I say it, that can deeply affect someone else?

Prayer: Lord, I am coming to You today to ask for wisdom. Specifically, I ask You to give me wisdom that is gentle. When I am speaking with my marriage partner, please help me to be kind and gentle. Even when we disagree – especially when we disagree – my I respect my spouse by treating him or her with gentleness.



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