A Gentle Breeze or a Sledge Hammer
Melanie Chitwood

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

Gentleness is part of being feminine - part of being a woman, and God made us distinctly different from men on purpose! God wants us to bring our gentleness to our marriages, to love our husbands with the tender love of God. Our tenderness woos our husbands and allows them to be vulnerable in return.

We can show our husbands gentleness in many ways—a soft touch, a sweet smile, a kind deed, and a caring tone of voice. We show gentleness when we are considerate, patient, understanding, forgiving and not easily offended or irritated.

Think about the opposite of gentle—harsh, pushy, insistent, demanding, caustic, and argumentative. Are you more likely to respond to your husband in gentleness or harshness?
Sometimes I think we fear being gentle because we fear we’ll appear weak or vulnerable. We see in Scripture that God is both a mighty warrior and a tender Shepherd. In Isaiah 40:10 and 11 we read, “See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power …He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (NIV). In the same way a woman can be both gentle toward her husband and strong. Consider the ways of a mother with her child; she is the one who scoops her child into her arms and hugs him tighter than tight, and she’s also the one who is fiercely protective of her child’s well-being.

As I was discussing the idea of a wife being gentle, an acquaintance shook his head and said, “My wife makes me think of the blows of a sledge hammer. There’s nothing gentle about her. She’s like a run-away bus and you just better get out of her way.”

Let’s practice the application steps below. Let’s watch our marriages flourish as we practice being more like the caress of a gentle breeze rather than the blows of a sledge hammer.

Dear Lord, Thank You, Heavenly Father, that You are both a mighty Warrior and a tender Shepherd. Help me to be a wife who is both strong and gentle. Fill me with Your Spirit and make me gentle like You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

For more on marriage issues visit the
Growthtrac website

Do you know Him?

Application Steps:
Enjoy God’s quiet presence and tender love.

Don’t let harshness become a bad habit. Begin to replace it with gentleness.

Practice patience.

Refrain from interrupting, correcting or nagging your husband.

Think before you speak. Do you really need to say what you’re about to say?

Spend time with friends or family who have a gentle spirit and observe.

Reflections:
How do you think being gentle helps your marriage? How does harshness hinder your marriage?
Do you have any fears about being gentle toward your husband? Be honest before the Lord and ask Him to give you His gentleness.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 15: 1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NAS)

Matthew 11:29, “’Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’”(NIV)

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This devotional is so powerful! As a wife and mother of 3 (5 years old and under,) I am constantly overwhelmed right now. But as I rely on the Lord to give me a gentle and patient spirit, I know that He will.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ouch. Lord teach us to be Godly wives (and mothers), may we be a reflection of Your holy and perfect love especially in our families. by our words we will be justified, and by our own words we will be condemned. we will have to give account for every careless word we speak. let's fast from destructive words today and every day. God bless. sisters in Christ

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great devotional. As a leader of a single adult ministry, I see women believing that they must be strong and fierce to stand their ground. They are afraid to return to a strong, gentle spirit becuase of what they have suffered in the past. I have finally understood this in my walk with Christ. Please continue to pray for single women and mothers to learn and teach gentleness. Amen sister!!

Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you for that powerful illustration. I shared this one with my daughters. One of my daughters says it reminds her of Mr. and Mrs. Olsen from Little House on the Prairie.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was an eye opener. When things become busy in my family life it seems my gentleness turns to hurriedness then harshness fairly quickly. I pray Lord, to please keep this top of mind for me. I want to be gentle even when life becomes busy and teach this to my girls. Thank you Ladies for these devotions. You truly are a gift from the Lord.

Carrie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

WoW! The Holy Spirit just showed this to me on Sunday ... I thank God for giving me a word with what was already placed in my spirit. I want to be a more gentle wife and mother. I Thank the Lord for Loving me So! My desire today is to become a more gentle person with my love ones even when my day is so overwhelmed. I want my words to reflect positiveness in my sons life and my husbands life. Let the words I speak bear good fruit and not bad one. I Thank You for this devotional today .... On this beautiful day that God has allowed us to see.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be like Jesus, that is my prayer for today.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate this reflection and conviction. It speaks so clearly especially what has come up this week. The Lord knows exactly what we need. Thank you.

Prayerfully, I submit to the Lord's wisdom and sovereignty to take care of the things I am anxious for. In return, He will fill me with His transcending peace!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional is God's way of calling me back to Him. I am a mother of three, a full-time out-of-home administrator who travels quite a bit. God began wooing me last night with a little time in the Word. In the shower, I was convicted that I had the time to spend with Him this morning since I am in a hotel room, with none of the usual morning responsibilities at home...so what was my excuse today? I had none, so when I read this devotional, it confirmed that God is desiring that He be my top priority daily...

Blogger eph2810 said...

That is so true, Melanie. God did make us different in our feelings and our manner. Your devotion truly spoke to me this morning.

I hope it is okay that I will be using your first sentence for a writing 'assignment'.

Thank you so much for sharing.

Be blessed today and always.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

from melanie - Oh ladies, thank you for your sweet hearts on this page and in response to the devo. As the writers, we don't know exactly when our devos will run. This particular morning I was tired, stressed, and overwhelmed - and as my husband was heading out of town, I was a sledge hammer. THEn I read my own devotion:) God is funny. melanie

Anonymous Anonymous said...

These two devotionals go hand in hand. Spending time with God will enable us/me to have a gentle spirit. I need to make time for God not only to renew my relationship with God but to nurture my relationship with my husband. If my relationship with my husband really does reflect my relationship with my Lord, I can see why it's been hurting.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the last severl weeks I have been the sledgehammer! I haven't liked it one bit, but reading this devotion this evening helped me quickly put it into perspective. I pray for each and every one of us a gentle heart and a loving gentle breeze toward our loved ones, not only our husbands! Thank you for this wonderful message. Praise the Lord who made us to be gentle in spirit!

Blogger Loved said...

Thank you so much for writing this devotion. I used to be the "harsh" woman. But God's grace has transformed me into the gentle one, not the perfect one:) So grateful I still remember the pain and ugliness my words caused. Just yesterday, I was struggling with feeling "weak" in regard to a particular situation and the Lord reminded me of the past. Now, that gentle, quite strength makes me feel so beautiful. Oh, the blessings are so sweet when we obey our Lord! Be encouraged sisters!

Blogger Kate said...

Thank you so much for this lovely post.

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