July 23

Kinder and Gentler

What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness? 1 CORINTHIANS 4:21

Ellie Kay, the wife of an Air Force pilot and the author of Heroes at Home: Help and Hope for America's Military Families, reveals what can sometimes happen when her husband, Bob, returns from a turn of military duty. After months of flying and fighting and barking commands, he is often still in a giving-orders mood when he re-enters civilian life. That's when Ellie uses a little code phrase to bring him back to her world: "K and G."

Kinder and gentler.

It's a signal to her husband, who likely doesn't even realize how harsh his words may sound, to throttle back. To tone it down. Save it for his subordinates. We all know you don't have to be a soldier in uniform to bring home a military manner at the end of the day. You can be in a business suit, casual pants or coveralls and still treat your wife as though she's just another item on your checklist, just one more employee needing a grade on her efficiency. It can work the same for women who work outside the home.

Like Bob, we often aren't aware that we're doing this. We're still in our office or job mode without realizing we've left it on. If our wives confronted this attitude, would we listen? Would we respond?

My suggestion is to find a spot along your usual way home—some recognizable milestone or visual marker—to remind you that it's time to shed the necktie and get ready to meet your wife. Leave the workday behind someplace where you can pick it up again tomorrow. And go home ready to love and listen, not to push and prod.

Be K and G.

DISCUSS

How often do you bring the pressures and attitudes of work home with you? How do they manifest themselves at home? Talk about how you can remind one another to be K and G.

PRAY

Instead of bucking your mate for confronting a bad attitude in you, thank the Lord for putting someone in your life to help you be more like Christ. 

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