Day 8 – Tenderhearted
I Peter 3:8-9: Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil, or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
Text: Eph. 4:32-5:2, I John 3:16-18
Ladies: Are you hard hearted? Have you been hurt and then stew in you hurt feelings until it hurts worse and then it becomes, “He hurt me, he must not love me, he hates me, well I hate him then.” Yeah, it doesn’t take too long for us to reach this point. We have all had these extremely irrational feelings at one point or another, right? Did you know that fights between spouses tend to boil down to one huge issue? Communication. There is normally one (sometimes more) misunderstandings of the way one spouse said something to the other and then its a battle of, “So what you are saying is….” And most times…that isn’t even close to what they were saying, it just came out wrong or heaven forbid, you misunderstood. So, lets take the side of the hurt one here first. You were hurt by what was said, and you decided to hurt back. Or maybe you were hurt by what was said and now you are stewing in your hurt and assuming that he must hate you because he said something so mean. Now, lets go to the other side. You were the one who hurt. You said something that came across wrong and tried to correct it but he thinks you were serious about your words. Maybe you are upset or maybe you are thinking…”well it is partially true.” Okay…now lets stop the scenarios and talk scripture! Our text today Ephesians 4:32 tells us that we are to be kind to one another, tenderhearted and forgiving of one another. Now, the last part of verse 32 is the kicker…”as God in Christ forgave you.” It goes on in chapter 5 verse 1 to say be imitators of God. Then in verse 2, walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us…a sacrifice to God. Can you be the sacrifice in your misunderstanding with your husband? No, you will not always be at fault, but Christ was never at fault and yet, was tenderhearted toward us and forgave us even in the midst of our wretched sin. In I John 3:16 it says, “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” You know I find it funny that people say they would die before letting anything happen to their husband or children. They say if someone were to threaten the lives of their family they would stand in front and be killed to spare the lives of the ones they love. So, you can take such a drastic measure as to die for your husband, but you can’t give him the “win” in this miscommunication? Hmm…maybe we should re-think how tenderhearted we are toward our hubby, huh?~Coren
Men: I love my wife. There are definitely times when I am not thrilled with her, but I always love her. Tenderhearted is a little more involved than love though. This word runs along the same line as compassion. My compassion for my wife stems from the sympathy I show her and most definitely my love for her. I sympathize with her because I am moved within and my heart breaks to see her hurt. I have a tender heart toward my wife when she is in physical or emotional pain. I hate seeing her that way, but my tenderheartedness would mean nothing if I didn’t act on it. To show my wife that I care about the state she is in I tend to her needs, even when her pain causes her to be short-tempered. And I’ll be honest it isn’t easy to be tenderhearted when she is this way, however I know that this response is the best one. Paul tells us to imitate Christ who has a steadfast love for us and was frequently moved to compassion (Mark 6:34; Luke 7:13). In Proverbs 15:1 King Solomon tells us that, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Even when my wife is irritated, whether at me or someone else, my best response is a soft one. To be tenderhearted means that my voice, words and actions are calm and compassionate. This shows her that even though I may not understand why she is upset or that I don’t know how to fix it, I will do everything I possibly can to make things better. Don’t just love your wife, be tenderhearted toward her. If you are in difficult situation with or toward your wife, be compassionate toward her in all you say and do and watch as the problems begin to fade away.-Adam