North Point 
Alliance Church 
English Ministry

Rev. Stera Chan
Pastor Lawrence Choy
+852 2807 5200

2/F Phase 2, Maximall
233 Electric Road
North Point, Hong Kong

Gentle Wisdom

By Rev. Andrew Tsang

March 3, 2024

       One evening, a brother was very tired when he got home only to find that the desk lamp he had carefully chosen for his child was broken into two on the floor. What happened? The child said his mother broke it. The wife immediately said the lamp had come loose long before that. When the brother asked more questions, his wife impatiently frowned and did not speak. The brother thought to himself: “Now is that my fault?!” His anger rose…

      Does the above episode sound familiar to you? The characters and the scenario may be different, but such disputes, simple and for no good reason, do happen between husband and wife. A study reveals that we long for interaction and connection with others ever since infancy. We derive a sense of security from our parents’ responding facial expressions. Failing that, we feel uneasy. When the pace of living is fast and life subject to a lot of pressure, couples may choose no response to avoid conflicts, to calm down a little bit, or to “save one’s breath.” But did you know that this may on the contrary give your spouse a feeling of denial and rejection, leaving your spouse feeling hurt? This is especially so when we are rejected by the only person in our life who is closest to us and who is in the best position to give us a sense of security. Our feeling at this moment is likely to be worse than that for any possible response we may receive.

      The loss of sense of security is like being suddenly thrown into the sea and drowning. We will use all our strength to struggle and grab even the last straw in order to regain the needed help – a sense of security. At that point in the couple’s dispute, if the tone or volume increases involuntarily, the outcome will often be worse. Dispute will follow dispute just like gifts accompanying products. However tired or troubled we may be, we still need to do our best to offer a gentle response. You may be simply expressing your state of mind but do it gently. James 3:13-18 reminds us: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by … deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom…  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

      When Paul exhorted the church at Corinth which God established through him, he did not rebuke them even though he had good reasons to do so. On the contrary, he “by the humility and gentleness of Christappealed to them (2 Corinthians 10:1). It will be even more so when you are talking to your beloved spouse. As a husband and father, I am fully aware of my own restrictions and inadequacies. Love is patient, love is kind – it is easier said than done! We really need to ask for the Lord’s mercy and help. “Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter 3:4). It is only gentle words that can make your spouse feel safe and accepted, giving your spouse a sense of security within. Your spouse can then give up armor, accept dissenting views with an open heart, and make a wise choice. Only a gentle heart can give positive encouragement!

      May this serve as our mutual encouragement in Christ!