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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”—Proverbs 15:1 (NKJV)
I turned around to face the sink as my husband brushed by me into the garage. I wanted to discuss when we would sit down for dinner, but he was busy working on a project. His quick, rude response really hurt.
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll fend for myself this week,” he retorted as he disappeared back into his man cave.
The tears welled up in my heart as I thought about the load of groceries I’d just stuffed into the refrigerator. I’d spent several days menu planning and now he was telling me he’d rather eat cereal alone.
My tears quickly turned to icy anger. We’d exchanged vows just four weeks earlier, and now I wondered if I’d made a mistake.
As I wrestled with my rollercoaster emotions, my oblivious groom stepped back inside to grab a piece of equipment. He saw me standing at the sink and nuzzled up in my ear. I felt completely suffocated. I wanted to throw the dirty dishes at him, but instead I responded by excusing myself to gain my composure.
Both my husband and I grew up in homes where the philosophy was “he who screams loudest wins.” Neither of us wanted to have a marriage established on selfish animosity, so we began studying the Scriptures to help us learn how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner.
In Chapter 5 of Song of Solomon, we find the lover and his bride at odds. He comes to the door, and she initially responds with indifference rather than affection. His response is all grace. He doesn’t batter down the door and demand his way. He doesn’t insult her or point fingers.
A gentle answer makes anger disappear. Matthew Henry expounds on this sage advice by stating: “A right cause will be better pleaded with meekness than with passion.”
The child of God is called to extend God’s grace to others. Rather than react in the flesh, we are to turn to prayer and ask God for His strength and wisdom to respond in the Spirit. Rather than attack, we should affirm one another.
Don’t push back, choose to be a peacemaker.
DIG: Read Colossians 3. Make a list of principles in this passage that will help you to resolve conflict in a biblical manner.
DISCOVER: Read James 1:19-20. Did you grow up in a home where this Scripture was put into practice? How well are you living out this truth in your life today?
DISPLAY: Memorize Proverbs 15:1 and pray about putting it into practice in your relationships.
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