Meekness Is Not Weakness, But Strength Under Control


Are you crazy? 

I’m not doing that – I would get stepped all over. 

The above is a typical response – from men and women – when asked if they would consider incorporating the quality of meekness in their marriage. The problem is that American society in general has gotten too big for its proverbial britches. Too smart, too sophisticated, too savvy. 

Anything but meek. 

Meekness is NOT weakness. On the contrary, Jesus, the strongest man ever, declared Himself “meek and lowly in heart.” 

The same Jesus who fasted and prayed in solitude in the wilderness for nearly six weeks, surrounded by who-knows-what kind of critters and nightlife. (He also faced off with the devil and sent him packing.) 

The same Jesus who made a whip out of cords and by Himself drove the moneychangers out of the temple. 

The same Jesus, who sweated drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane but was obedient to the will of the Father. 

The same Jesus, who had the right to cast the first stone, yet chose to disperse an angry mob and free an adulteress. He did it with meekness, clothed in words of challenge, conviction, forgiveness, and truth. 

The same Jesus who took on our sins in the darkest day in world history. 

The same Jesus who declared, “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (John 10:17-18). 

Yes, Jesus described Himself as meek. So let me be meek, oh Lord! Let me be meek! 

Meekness might be best defined as “strength under control.” One example given is that of a wild, untamed horse. An average horse stands five feet tall and weighs between 800-1,200 pounds. That’s a LOT of power, unbridled and unchecked. 

That same horse, tamed and trained, still has that power but is now under the influence of a master, who provides direction and guidance. Same power – different approach. Strength under control. 

So how can meekness work in the context of marriage? Very well! Let’s start with the power of the tongue! The outside world may get the best version of us – thoughtful, polite, kind, constructive, engaging. But within the walls of our home, we may exercise the freedom to demean, to insult, to criticize, to talk down to...sometimes blissfully ignorant to the fact that we are in effect sinning against our mates and families. 

Great marriages and great relationships are built in large part on the words we say. Not only what we say but how we say them. They can lift up and they can tear down. Wouldn’t you rather be lifted? 

Me too. 

Let’s not allow the world to define meekness to us. Let’s let Jesus do it and take His cue. He declared in Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” 

So, do we really think Jesus was saying He was going to give the earth to jellyfish – wimpy men and women without backbones? If He did, it wouldn’t seem that that would bode very well for the future. 

Meekness is ceding control to God – just like Jesus did. “Not my will,” He said so humbly, “but thy will be done.” 

In the context of marriage, meekness says that even though you may be better equipped than your spouse to manage or perform a task or activity, you don’t come at them with that supposed superiority. You don’t take the screwdriver from your husband’s hand and say, “Step aside – I got this.”

If your wife is gently correcting your child, you don’t interrupt her and say “This is ridiculous and you’re being too soft. I’ll handle this.” 

Meekness finds a better way – not a bitter way. 

One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 12:21 – “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” That’s meekness in action. The world outside of me says “No way they’re going to treat me like that and get away with it!” The Jesus in me says “Father, teach me to forgive just as You have forgiven me. I trust You to deal with them as You see fit.” 

The meek husband gets hit by trouble and tough circumstances and asks God, with a humble and teachable spirit, to show him what he can learn from these experiences. He learns to trust God when he’s driving in the storm as strongly and securely as when he is walking a clearly lit path on a bright and sunshiny day. 

The meek wife finds herself in an escalating disagreement with her mate and quickly pumps the brakes. She lowers her voice and takes the temperature in the room down – she recognizes clearly that she ought to please God and she doesn’t have to “win” an argument to do that. She looks to make peace, as there is a promised blessing there as well. 

Be meek and embrace your promised inheritance! The meek shall inherit the earth!

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