Several incidents happened yesterday that were very difficult – one in particular was very unjust in regards to someone (we’ll call him John Doe for clarification sake) making an issue in regard to our Christian school into a personal attack on my husband. My husband did not retaliate nor fire back with some facts that he knew to be true that would prove to John Doe that my husband was very much in the right – and that John Doe was very much in the wrong. My husband was kind and told John Doe he’d get back with him today, after things had calmed down.
We prayed about all the incidents of yesterday – and in particular the one major issue with John Doe who had a very angry spirit. I had to pray for myself because my initial thought was, “Well, why don’t you just tell John Doe to take his kids OUT of our Christian school if he feels the way he does about it.” TODAY, when my husband contacted him, John Doe apologized to him … and Dan’s testimony and that of our church and its Christian school remained in tact.
I have seen again that the silent – sometimes gentle – approach my husband takes towards certain injustices has a purpose. A soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1). There are times when a stern, firm, even confrontational answer is necessary – but in my opinion, the discernment to know when which approach is appropriate is a huge sign of maturity and character. My husband has dealt with people ever since he was a RA (Resident Assistant) in a college dorm then throughout his Army career and even more so now as a Christian school teacher (and “administrator”). He has learned that sometimes silence and gentleness are more effective than a good, swift kick in the rear — although sometimes the other is necessary too!!
Remaining calm during a personal attack isn’t weakness … in my observation, it is actually a strength. You can ruin your testimony so quickly with words spoken harshly or judgmentally. I was just reading a commentary about the following verses, which seems to fit in with this:
“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” Proverbs 26:4 We do not need to lower ourselves to the fool’s level or even consider what he is saying in his ignorance (or anger or whatever the case may be).
“Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.” Proverbs 26:5 DO answer him appropriately, revealing to those listening and to the “fool” himself what he truly is. Our pastor calls this bringing someone back to reality.
I am blessed to be married to such a wise man. I haven’t always seen it that way (I prefer swift justice and immediate retaliation when wronged) – but the more I observe my husband and strive to respect him, the more I see that he is really very worthy of respect. I’ve said it before: I got one of the “good guys” and I’m so thankful.