Gentleness may not be what you think it is… or it might even be more than you believe. It’s never weak. And it can be found in every great marriage.
Possible in every marriage.
There are lots of headstrong, forceful individuals who are married. Sometimes both husband and wife are considered strong, driven, decisive, and goal oriented. Why would they want to incorporate the ability to be gentle into their marriage? Isn’t gentleness considered a ‘weak’ value?
And what about those individuals who have great strife in their marriage? Endless financial battles, massive addiction struggles, unwieldy family carnage, and so much more, which sums up the whirlwind of their years together. Those individuals can’t practice a passive value like this, can they? Where could being gentle fit into their marriage?
Why does every marriage need this value?
Gentleness, as a value, means even-tempered; considerate; honorable, strength under control.
These three aspects can be summed up by one image: an adult hand holding an infant’s hand:
Strength Under Control
Strength under control can have the greatest impact in a marriage. Learning to control your actions, words, and even thoughts is the beginning of gentleness. Just think of the power of an adult hand, and the delicacy of an infant…
Distance is the enemy of being gentle. Gentleness is never distant – it always is practiced in proximity to the one you love. Practicing this value in your marriage means staying close to each other in mind, body, and spirit. Imagine the feeling of that little baby’s hand in your yours…
Gentleness is considerate. It takes into account your spouse’s moods, and feelings, and acts accordingly. And responds quickly – with grace. There’s a special focus when you hold an infant, isn’t there? You’ll rarely take your eyes off them, will you?
Today will never come again…
Today will never come again …
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5
Be gentle with your spouse – don’t be anxious about things…
“… but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Perhaps this scripture holds the key to gentleness… with the peace of God, which we can’t truly fathom – our hearts and minds are guarded. We can put all our anxieties and requests into prayer – always remembering to give thanks to Him who is the author of our lives.
10 Ways to Practice Gentleness
Here are 10 ways it can be practiced in marriage.
- Gentleness deliberately waits to address difficult issues till the time is right.
- By being gentle you honor your spouse’s free will, without joining in to placate her/him.
- Gentleness shines a light on a tender issue while exercising respect.
- Gentleness remains even-tempered during a crisis, yet stays alert for possible dangers.
- Gentleness offers a hug when a spouse messes up and remains silent in commiseration.
- 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.
Increase your strength by being gentle.
To create a healthy, strong marriage, practicing the value of gentleness might just be the perfect fitness program!
How has being gentle strengthened your marriage?
Share the ways your spouse is gentle with you – and you are gentle with your spouse…
Thanks for the practical ideas for practicing gentleness, Lori. Great tips.
Thanks so much for stopping in, Gaye!
These are ideas to add to the list – from an email…
What scriptures would you recommend to help with fear and anxiety?
I am learning how to be gentle in my marriage. I think that learning how to be gentle with myself and seeing myself the way God sees me is the first step. I am one of those that walked into a marriage with baggage, and after 22 years together, we are in a critical state.