I think the biggest criticism the women in the “respect and submission” camp of marriage get is that we become doormats. Pushovers. Voiceless. Barefoot and pregnant. Seen and not heard. Not equals to our husbands. Subservient.
But what about the grace element? What about being able, in a moment, to choose grace.
To extend grace.
Even when we’re hurt.
Or feel like the only one who ever has to extend grace.
The questions for today’s dare – Dare 9 – talk about some of the hardest times to extend grace – after an insult.
After an insult, we have mere moments to choose our reaction.
And that’s it.
We can react in kind.
Or we can choose grace.
I recently spoke with a friend who tried to innocently enough talk to a friend about something they had posted via social media. The friend-of-a-friend saw it as insulting and rude and responded that way leaving my friend baffled and hurt by words so cutting. The friend-of-a-friend justified their actions by saying that she felt that had been attacked so she attacked back.
And it wasn’t pretty.
Do we attack back? Do we seize the open door to land a nice shot in the throat?
Or do we extend grace?
By turning the other cheek.
By choosing silence instead of insult.
By taking a moment to think of 5 positive interactions or ways to create 5 positive interactions.
By approaching the topic later when people have had a chance to cool down.
By choosing to uplift and affirm rather than strike back.
Man, this sounds hard.
Because it IS hard.
The only person who did this perfectly got to extend grace to all of us in the most beautiful way as we crucified Him and hung Him on a cross.
And we all know THAT wasn’t easy.
What do you do?
What do I do?
Well, this is what has worked for me. But I’m still learning in this area BELIEVE me. And it may not work for you. But here are some ideas:
Say nothing. Take a few deep breaths.
Apologize if I did something wrong. (Like – I’m sorry I didn’t get xyz done yet.)
Politely change the subject. (Like – *pause* How was your day?)
Ask for clarification on the comment. (Like – I think you might be upset about xyz. Could you help me see what one thing is that bothers you about it?)
Thank him for his input that is true. (Like – Thanks for pointing that out. I know xyz isn’t my strong suit.)
I’m not great at this. And I’m getting better at this with my husband but not necessarily with other people. *sigh* Slow grower. But I have (mostly) stopped being passive aggressive and looking for an insult in what people say (how women are typically portrayed as being impossible to please).
Grace is hard. We love grace sent in our direction from others. We have less grace to give and less for ourselves.
Proverbs 12:16 A fool shows his annoyance at once but a prudent man overlooks an insult.
Can you be a prudent woman? Can I be a prudent woman?
When husband/mother/mother-in-law/child/friend/whoever extends a criticism, can I choose to see something different than hurt? Can I try to see intentions? Or love from the commenter? Can I choose grace like I choose joy?
Would you share a way in which you are prudent when you are extended an insult? I know I need work on this so I’d love some ideas!
Be sure to check out The Respect Dare blogging team – Nina, author of The Respect Dare andDebbie, especially for parents of teens, tweens, and twenty-somethings, and you can subscribe to me in the sidebar. And connect with me on twitter @LeahHeffner and on faceboook on The Respect Dare community page.