Heather Marshall on October 1st, 2008
Let’s look once again at what it means to be Gracious…. Here’s the definition, taken from thefreedictionary.com:
- Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
- Characterized by tact and propriety.
- Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
If we are striving to have a heart like Christ’s, then we must emulate Him… and there are 8 verses in the Old Testament of the Bible that say virtually the same thing:
“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
If we are to be Gracious Wives…. then we must have all of these characteristics:
- Kindness - Even when undeserved; Offering forgiveness; Showing God’s love (Ephesians 4:32)
- Warm courtesy - Politeness!
- Tact - Not saying the wrong thing when it’s most tempting; Not retaliating with that oh-so-great sarcastic comeback; Knowing when to “pick your fight” (i.e., not in front of a group of your friends)
- Propriety - Being appropriate or fitting in what you say and do.
- Mercy - Compassionate treatment of those who offend; a forgiving spirit. (Matthew 5:7)
- Compassionate - I love this definition: “Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it” … think of how that definition can apply towards your husband!
- Slow to Anger - enough said?
- Rich in Love - What does love mean? Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 to see for yourself!
There are other topics relating to The Gracious Wife that I planned to devote entire articles to….. but decided instead to concisely list them here…
The Gracious Wife is NOT….
- A Gossip. Even though it can be hard to resist, don’t join in on bashing others or spreading around the juicy tidbits you’ve heard - whether it’s about your own husband, someone else’s husband, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or an “enemy”, show kindness and mercy by NOT taking part! (Click Here to see Bible verses relating to Gossip)
- Condescending. Don’t look down on others (including your husband) because they do not make as much money as you, aren’t as smart as you, or whatever else you may think highly of yourself for. We are all saved by GRACE, not by the works we do, so we have no reason to boast or look down on others. (Romans 12:3; Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Too Busy to Serve. Whether it’s church, family, strangers, missionaries, or orphans…. we need to make sure that our mercy and compassion spreads out to others! In the Bible, God always made sure that widows and orphans were cared for; He wants US to do that! If you’re not plugged into serving at your church, get involved! Support a missionary, sponsor a child through Compassion or World Vision! Get involved in your community, and DO SOMETHING! It’s when we serve “the least of these” that we are serving Christ! (Matthew 25:35-40)
I hope that this series has helped you, or at least made you think a little bit! It is not my purpose to discourage or convict any of you…. in fact, it is not I who convicts, but the Holy Spirit… so if you are feeling guilty over something that you feel needs to change, be glad!! It is the Holy Spirit calling out a change in you, and CHANGE IS GOOD!!!
I’d love to hear your stories of how God is changing you, or how you are striving…. I’ll go first!
After writing the last post, The Gracious Wife versus The Angry Wife, I felt very convicted over my behavior. I struggle with being defensive - reacting automatically to any comment or action that I perceive to be an “attack.” In my defensiveness, I get a terrible attitude, and it’s been getting worse over time instead of better. It’s to the point where Jason now assumes that I’m being defensive (even in those rare cases where I’m not), which then makes me angry…. so either way, I’m getting angry!
For these past few days since writing it, I’ve been striving to think carefully about both what Jason is saying/doing (and whether it is warranted or unwarranted) and my response to it (am I getting angry? and if so, why?). It really is helping… and while I still feel angry for no reason at times, I have much better control over it and hopefully, in short time, those feelings will go away altogether.
So, what are your stories? I do hope you’ll share!
Keep on Striving,