Joanne at Blessed (One So Blessed) has written an excellent post for Exemplify Online that, if you are a woman (wife or daughter), you need to read. (No longer available to read online, but keep reading here–there’s something for you!) I related to it all too well. It is entitled: “What Hill Are You Dying On?” In answer to that question, some of us would have to say, “Why, every hill! There are none too small!” I find myself challenging and correcting my husband, and also my children, all too often, setting up a confrontational home environment. The Lord has convicted me that it is pride.
Only by pride cometh contention:
but with the well advised is wisdom.
Proverbs 13:10 (KJV)
When pride cometh, then cometh shame:
but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2 (KJV)
I was raised by a dad who demanded absolute respect and obedience. Unfortunately, he had a rebellious daughter. He said everything dogmatically. So did I. He was prone to say, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” And I would be looking somewhere else thinking about what I was going to say next! Ready always to defend myself, or correct that little thing he said wrong! (In later years, he mellowed, I got saved, and we became very close!) But, in my growing-up years, if you wanted to be heard in our home, you had to speak up loudly and firmly! So, I learned to say things as though they were the gospel truth, even when I was really unsure, or didn’t even realize I was doing it! This habit got me into a lot of trouble in my early years of marriage. My husband pointed this trait out to me on more than one occasion. I am still learning not to die on every hill, and to choose my battles (another phrase that my husband likes to use). I *think* that I have learned this lesson: that prayer is more effective than my words, and that I don’t need to say everything that comes into my mind! These are some statements that I have thought to say to my children, and haven’t. “You can’t go out looking like that!” “What were you thinking!” “Surely you knew that _____” “When did you start eating that? You don’t like that (food)!” “You’re becoming ___, and you’d better change fast, or you’re going to _____.” But I have actually said much worse!
Now, in my own family and marriage, I see that “speaking our minds” is a characteristic which is “caught”. Do you women and girls who are reading this know how much influence you have on the atmosphere in your home? I have been startled, shocked, amazed and humbled when I have made an effort to change my tone, at various and sundry times, prompted by the Holy Spirit, to be more _____ (fill in the blank: cheerful, gentle, encouraging, non-complaining/grateful, praising of others), and I have felt the spirit of our home completely transformed!
Give me a meek and quiet spirit
which is beautiful in Your sight.
Thanks for reading Faith’s Firm Foundation!