By Bill Arbuckle
The Fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. Gentleness is often misunderstood, but when applied to your marriage, gentleness can strengthen your relationship.
- Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
- Read today’s marriage devotion.
- Share today’s question with your spouse.
Of all the fruits of the Spirit, gentleness may be the most misunderstood. We often equate gentleness (or “meekness”) with weakness when it’s exactly the opposite. Gentleness is power under control.
Think of it this way: Years ago, circuses and sideshows traveled with a strongman. People would come from miles around to watch the muscular man lift heavy weights over his head, break metal chains and bend bars of steel with his bare hands. Circusgoers marveled at the mighty man’s strength. And yet, the very same man whose hands twisted iron rods could also pick a delicate flower or hold a tiny baby. The strongman knew how to control his mighty power.
Now that you have a picture of the strongman in mind, listen to the words of Psalm 86:15: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” God is all-powerful — yet gentle. The very hands that stretched the heavens were themselves stretched and nailed to a cross. Jesus showed gentleness by washing his disciples’ and betrayer’s feet; the Master set aside His title and authority to take on the role of a servant.
What does gentleness look like in a marriage? It looks like Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. Or the strongman picking flowers to give to a little girl. In no way does Jesus diminish His power by serving His disciples. Nor does the strongman lose his strength. Gentleness is power under control. And, when controlled, honors and elevates others.
You bring God-given strengths into your marriage. And you can use those strengths to honor your spouse or you can choose to crush your relationship. The fruit of the Spirit is gentleness. God asks — and empowers — us to bring our strengths under His control and give our spouse a place of honor in the relationship.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being strong enough to control the universe and yet gentle enough to welcome me into Your arms. Control my strength so that I can be gentle to my spouse. Amen.
What strength, preference or control do you need to set aside so that you can honor your spouse?
© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com. https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/marriage-meditation-the-fruit-of-the-spirit-is-gentleness/