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  • Writer's pictureJohn Phillips

Strong Enough To Be Gentle

Valerie and I celebrated another anniversary this past week. I still remember those early days of marriage to my beautiful little wife. There were times, when I’m sure that I needlessly hurt Valerie’s feelings because I thought I had to be strong and being strong meant being tough! Thankfully, I was blessed with a very wise wife who gently helped me to understand that real strength means being strong enough to be gentle, kind and considerate!

You know it got me to thinking about what God’s word says to us husbands about our strength. The bible says, "Husbands be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner so that nothing will hinder your prayers." (1 Peter 3:8)

Some may remember that back in the day there was a band called ‘Black Oak Arkansas’. They had a hit song sung by James “Jim Dandy” Mangrum entitled, “Strong Enough to be Gentle”. It’s unfortunate that so many men have allowed songs like this to give them a wrong view of what real strength is all about! The world tells guys that we have to be right no matter what; it tells us that we can't be wrong, or that we can't show tender feelings! As a result, many men think that macho toughness is showing strength, but that’s not real manhood. It's insecurity. It's a lack of self-control. It's insensitivity.

Christ modeled for every man what real strength is all about. When an entire crowd of men was ready to stone a guilty woman, Jesus had the strength to treat her with compassion and gentleness! When Mary was criticized by Judas for pouring expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet, Jesus protected her honor. Yes guys, Jesus can help us to see what real strength looks like; it helps others feel safe, protected and respected by us.

Now for a lot of guys this kind of tender strength may not come naturally, but it can come supernaturally if you’ll let Jesus Christ convict and control your life! Today, I urge you to let Jesus plant His gentle strength in your heart to replace all those wrong ideas of what it really means to be strong enough to be gentle.

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