gentlenessToday, many of us are starting the 16 Day Love Challenge on Facebook with Cherie and Rebecca.

These 2+ weeks before Valentine’s Day can spark us to a new level of love in our marriage.  I am excited! Are you?

My husband, Keith and I, have been married just 22 short years (23 years in August!) and we still have so much to learn about love.

Thankfully we have a heavenly Father who is Love!

As I begin this challenge with you beautiful Imperfect Wives, I can’t help but reflect on the Fruit of the Spirit study we have been going through together at Imperfect Wives Radio.

The Fruit of the Spirit is such a nourishing, satisfying basket meant to enhance our lives as we are yielding to the Spirit of Jesus in us. The Fruit of the Spirit is also a benefit to those who are on the receiving end of our lives.

Let’s face it, our husbands are right smack-dab in the center of receiving of whatever pours out of our lives. Makes you think, doesn’t it? What does that look like? Sometimes the mental picture that comes isn’t pretty. Sure, he promised to love, honor and cherish, but sometimes we can make it difficult if we are not walking in the Spirit! Sometimes what he gets looks nothing like Jesus. I know, for me, sometimes it is downright ugly.

Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t leave us on our own to be fruit-bearers. No, we bear His image, and He is the Master Gardener in the soil of our lives. I am thankful for His pruning and cultivating. As He grows me into the wife He has planned for Keith, He does so with such gentleness. Hallelujah!

Gentleness is an attribute of God and a fruit of His Spirit that He gives to us.

Gentleness, when displayed in my life, impacts my husband in a powerful way.

How then is gentleness displayed? Gentleness is not acquiescence to his preference, or giving in grudgingly to my husband.

Proverbs 15:1-2 reminds us that,

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  2 The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (NIV)

Gentleness is displayed in our tone and in our physical appearance (our body language).  I admit that, sometimes, my mouth gushes folly.  Folly usually comes when I am proud and unyielding.  Unyielding to my husband and the Holy Spirit.

I am a woman who craves wisdom and I want my tongue to adorn knowledge!  I am learning that in the pursuit of gentleness I must be humble.  I must yield to the Spirit of Christ who richly dwells in me, and as I do, gentleness will be evident fruit in my marriage.

As we begin the 16 Love Challenge, begin by humbling yourself before God and allow His gentleness to flow through you.

Join me in prayer,

Heavenly Father, we come before you and we recognize your Lordship in our lives. God, you have called us to obedience. Please help us to willingly submit to Your ways, even as they clash with our fleshly desires. God, continue to mold us and surprise us with your faithfulness in the midst of our struggles. Lord, we are your daughters and we commit our marriages to you. We know that you have ordained our marriages as sacred and we humble ourselves before you because we are confident of your great love for us, and for our husbands. Teach us, O God, and continue to increase our faith as we walk by Your Spirit.  Help us to be gentle even as You are gentle. In Jesus’ name we pray,  Amen.


image via pinterest