"Take a Hike!" "You're going Down!" "Don't choke on it." I love this commercial starring Payton Manning.
After each insult, he responds as if it were meant kindly. The Bible says "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) These are words I have trouble implementing in my life.
The verse says turns away wrath. The wrath was already there, and you are to give a gentle answer back. I can speak gently...until I get the harsh word. Then I respond harshly, even if the word wasn't directed at me.
Before my husband and I were married, we attended pre-marital classes with the Pastor. One of the "issues" I had was that I felt my husband blew things out of proportion. If we missed an exit while driving on the interstate, he blew up. Then I would blow up at him for acting so dramatically over something so stupid. But the Pastor said, "Maybe it's not stupid to him." He encouraged me to respond gently.
My husband had his secretary make the travel arrangements on our honeymoon (isn't that romantic?). When we arrived to our destination airport, he discovered she booked the rental car off property. That meant we'd have to take a cab or bus to the rental place. My husband was very annoyed, to say the least. I felt like screaming "Who cares?! We just got married, we're together, we have all week, let's just be happy." But instead, I validated him. I said "I can see why you're upset." Remarkable, that was the end of it.
Years have past and I have become woefully inadequate at responding gently. And when I do remember, it doesn't always work as well as it did on our honeymoon. But that doesn't mean I should quit trying.
Because I don't want to be like Payton Manning. I want to be like Jesus.
Proverbs 21:9 -- Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
Ephesians 5:33 -- However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Proverbs 31:10 -- A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.