My husband had me in tears this morning. We got home late last night, he hadn’t finished his daily blog post*, so I went to sleep while he worked into the wee hours of the morning …
So when I got up , I read his post and started crying.
Let me introduce you to Robert:
One of his differentiating values is Gentleness. I can unequivocably say that since I’ve known him – for 32 years – he has demonstrated this value - over and over and over and over and over and over and over…
Why do I love Robert? So many reasons. And one of them is how his strength shines through gentleness… (he’s absolutely qualified to write this post)
10 ways to show gentleness to your spouse:
For centuries, elephants have been used to carry large, heavy items, even uprooting trees. Watching them work might scare some people. But if they are tamed at a young age, they tend to remain gentle giants.
It can be the same in marriage.
In a healthy marriage, both husband and wife need to feel free to express what’s on their mind. However, neither spouse would ever force their will upon the other. It’s the perfect combination of love and respect.
Unfortunately, for some people this is a foreign concept. It’s like speaking a different language. If they didn’t experience it growing up – quite likely they experienced the opposite – then they don’t know how to be gentle in their marriage. Worse yet, such problems tend to only show themselves when major marital issues arise.
So what can a married couple do?
They can start by understanding the value of gentleness.
The Value of Gentleness
As a differentiating value, Gentleness means even-tempered; considerate; honorable, strength under control.
The last part, strength under control, can have the greatest impact in a marriage. Learning to control one’s actions, words, and even thoughts is the beginning of real strength.
How often does one “bite their tongue” and say nothing to their spouse about an issue. But then they go to work or visit friends and blab all their negative feelings about their spouse. Where is the strength in that? There is nothing honorable or considerate about tearing down your spouse in front of others.
Does this means one must just “grin and bear it?” No. That’s neither healthy nor sustainable.
To create a healthy, strong marriage, practicing the value of gentleness might just be the perfect fitness program.
10 Ways to Practice Gentleness
Gentleness can be found in many forms. It’s quiet, but strong.
Here are 10 ways it can be practiced in marriage.
- Gentleness is choosing to address difficult issues during the day instead of at night.
- Gentleness is honoring the free will of your spouse, but does not join in just to placate them.
- Gentleness is speaking the truth in love. It shines a light on a tender issue while maintaining respect.
- Gentleness is remaining even-tempered during a crisis, yet staying alert for possible dangers.
- Gentleness is offering a hug when your spouse messes up, and saying nothing.
- Gentleness uses light humor to diffuse tense moments.
- Gentleness protects vulnerable spots but addresses the hurt that needs healing.
- Gentleness never needs to yell, and never cowers or whimpers.
- Gentleness takes its time to consider all the facts, but is quick to ask for forgiveness.
- Gentleness remains ever present, even if it’s never acknowledged.
As one of the nine ‘fruits of the spirit’ (Galatians 5:22-23), gentleness is frequently skipped over as a weak value. Being gentle is often equated to ‘giving in’ or simply ‘being nice.’ True gentleness couldn’t be further from the truth.
To show one’s strength while keeping it under control requires mastery. It needs to be practiced.
Which of these items are easy for you? Which ones are hard to do?
Do you know a couple that demonstrates the value of gentleness? How does it work for them?
Today’s value was selected from the “Appreciation-Kindness” category, based on the e-book Developing Your Differentiating Values.
This post is also on Robert’s website – “Ferguson Values“.
With each post he is working through 400+ values divided into 15 categories, under the topics of leadership, marketing and marriage.
(He’s very organized – Monday is Marketing, Tuesday is a Values Quote video, Wednesday is Leadership in Action, *Thursday is Marriage, and Friday is often a real-life couple who exemplifies a value.)
In addition to writing, Robert also speaks on Values Differentiation in Marketing, Marriage & Leadership.