As usual, I was in a rush. 

I seem to have 2 speeds: asleep and hurry.

I was late getting home, and
in my flurry to get into the house to start dinner,
I shoved open my car door with too much enthusiasm.
It clunked into the lawn mower handle.

Thud.

A long, angry, black mark scarred the car door.

CRUD!
How was I going to explain this to Mr. 4-Ever?  

I had already wrecked the car twice since we’d been married. 
Now every time I say, “Honey, I need to talk to you,”
he jokingly responds,
“Robyn, did you wreck the car again?”

 There was no getting around it,
I’d just have to fess up.
 

This time I had to tell him I’d dented the car
and I wasn’t even driving! 
Seems there is no end to the number of creative ways
I damage my vehicle!

“I need to talk to you,”
I said as I came into the house.

Predictably, he teased, “Robyn, did you wreck the car again?”
“Well, wreck might be too strong a word, but I did give it a new look.”

His face froze and without a word,
he went to the garage to inspect the damage.

When he came back in the house, he said,
“Honey, I’m sorry I left the mower so close to where you park your car. 
I should have made sure it wasn’t in your way.”

His response left me speechless.

Who responds like that?
Who disarms a potentially volatile situation in that way?

I’d been the careless one.  

I was the one who should have apologized for not paying attention,
and for the new design on my car door.  

Mr 4-Ever taught me a powerful lesson about
reactions and responses.

Sometimes, a gentle response is all it takes to
defuse, calm, and resolve an ugly situation or
keep an angry situation from escalating.

What about you?

How do you respond to ugly news?
With a harsh word or a gentle response?

I wish I could say I always keep my cool, but
that would be a lie.
I can say that I’m working on it, and
more often than not, my responses are gentle and kind.

Tell me what works for you.

Scripture refresher: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Proverbs 15:1, NIV

Prayer: Father, let me be a quick learner of this lesson and not be a sharp responder. Teach me to extend gentleness and not a harsh rebuke.  Amen.

11 Comments

  1. Wendy Kendrix on May 20, 2016 at 12:47 am

    This could be a good answer for my night, but what do I do when I was expecting my husband to step up and be the good dad. He needed to be at senior night for my daughter’s softball team. I couldn’t change my schedule because I need to know at least two to three weeks in advance. He didn’t make it and she was asking all week for him to be there. I couldn’t get anyone soon enough to switch a day with me. UGH I am not happy with him. How should I respond to him when he gets home???

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 25, 2016 at 2:27 pm

      Wendy, I hope you tried the gentle word turns away wrath approach with your hubz. 🙂 Not much good ever comes from ranting. If it’s an ongoing problem, sit down and talk about it so no one feels attacked. Work together to find solutions.

  2. EVIE Brus on May 20, 2016 at 12:50 am

    Robyn……….what a great guy you have. I have done the same thing but I only had my self to blame for putting the lawn chair in the wrong place! It is so true “A soft answer turns away wrath”. Will I ever learn???

  3. Lynn on May 20, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Hi Robyn,
    Your Mr.4ever is Mr. wonderful!
    I think with age (and God),comes growth and wisdom. it couldn’t have been your fault (ha ha) so in the scheme of things, it’s only a car ! So, how does your new decoration remind you of how much you are loved? Not only by your hubby, but also how much MORE God Loves You !!!! Say hi to hubby!
    Have a Blessed day,
    Lynn Shilman ?

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Lynn, I wish I had thought of being thankful for Mr. 4-Ever every time I looked at the mark. Excellent addition and teachable moment.

  4. Jennifer Amenda on May 20, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Thanks Robyn for your message.
    I really appreciate the way you express yourself, it’s honest and real. Thank you for exposing your faults for the Gospel and the benefit of others.
    It gives me hope to know the Lord will take my wretched sin and make something beautiful out of me.
    To him be the glory forever and ever.
    Your Sister in Christ.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 20, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      One thing I know for sure is that God can and does redeem my messes – all of them. I take great comfort in knowing that He won’t waste anything. He will do that for you, too. Love, Robyn

  5. Marybeth Fowler on May 21, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Robyn,
    I just finished reading your book. The Widow Wore Pink! What an amazing life you have had! I recently have had some medical issues that have affected my work. You have inspired me to put more faith in God to take control of this situation. What other biographies would you suggest. I have never been a reader but read your book every night! I feel so good reading, it slowed me down which I needed! ? Thanks again for sharing your life with me. Hugs to you my friend.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 25, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      Marybeth, What encouragement you give me. Thank you. I pray your health is restored and that you become ever closer to God in the process.
      I like the book, Same Kind of Different as Me.

  6. Karen Killian on May 22, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I can so identify with an incident similar to yours but mine was with the siding of our house backing out of the driveway! My number 1 guy said to me after I showed him: “hmm what an interesting design.” We are blessed to have these wonderful God loving men in our lives. God knows all our faults and still declares us faultless before Him!
    Karen

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 25, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      So true, Karen.

Leave a Comment