We are so quick to justify ourselves, to rationalize our standpoints and to have the last word. What drives us to have to prove that we are right? I was a shy person when my husband and I met, but I quickly learned to debate him on issues.
In the twenty-seven years that we’ve been married, I have had periods of compromise and periods where I stood against him on every issue. I enjoy the periods of compromise much better because of the peace. However, when I argued with him, I’d bring out logical points to prove that I was educated and knew what I was talking about.
Sure, I was right; but in the process I was conveying, “I know what I’m talking about and you don’t.” This belittled him and made him feel like less of a man. I was not showing him respect. Besides, I was not choosing my battles; rather, I was expending my energy on every little skirmish.
In the end, he was hurt and I felt drained. I didn’t feel like I had gained anything, even though I had laid out what I thought was compelling evidence. Big deal! What good was it to win an argument when I had hurt the man I loved? It didn’t take long for me to come to my senses, and I learned what things not to pursue and what things were worth standing up for diplomatically and with love.
God put me with this man for a purpose: to learn from him as well as to teach him . . . and to practice saying, “I’m sorry.”
“Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
– 1 Peter 3: 4 (NIV)
Dear Lord, I know I can trust You to continue giving me opportunities to practice humility, a trait that You feel is important for me to have. Though the fleshly side of me rebels and groans and doesn’t want to yield an inch of ground, the desire of my heart is to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ my Savior. Help me to develop a gentle spirit in the area of . . .”