Who gets to judge? No, really, who gets to set the bar or examine the evidence?
The simple answer?
That’s right, those who are looking, those for whom it was intended, those who are casual observers and those who read or heard our words. They get to judge. Actually, whether they get to or not, whether we give them permission to or not, they will and they do judge.
Just recently we completed a document that gives our view of love, its importance, value, and prominence. The document says it well. I like the words that have been crafted and the way they sound when you say them. However, if the recipients of that document would not say that we love, if they would not tell you that when they think of us that they know they are loved, then that document only proves to be noise.
I can tell you all day long that I love my wife. But, if my wife does not feel the love, if she does not think those thoughts when she thinks of me, then my words at best are hypocrisy and at worst a direct lie because I don’t get to be the judge.
I can tell you all day, extrapolate all the nuances, I can even have it nicely written out and ornately decorated on a tablet. But unless it reaches its target and resonates with my wife, decorated or not, it is hollow.
Years ago, I would not have been identified as gentle. Many other descriptive words that would have been used for me. Hopefully, some of them good, but ‘gentle’ would not have been one of them.
Then I was reading and came across these words, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5, NIV) I think at that moment God spoke to me asked me a question. “Phil, are you known for your gentleness?” Before I could build a case in my mind he continued, “Would your daughters call you gentle?” The word ‘Gentle’ became very personal, and I had to admit that I didn’t think it would be used to describe me. I realized at that moment that the picture of ‘me’ needed to change.
As I wrestled with my thoughts and how I was going to make this happen, I came upon the criteria that I have used ever since. It doesn’t matter what I would tell you about myself that matters, it is what others would say about me that exposes all and tells the truth.
Today, I believe that each of my four daughters, and my wife, would tell you that I indeed am a very gentle father.
So what about love? What do others say? Do our words have the depth or do they resonate as hollow?
Make a solid contribution to your marriage this Valentines. Let those around you say of you, “He or she is the most loving person that I know.”
I can help you get there in your marriage. I’ve created a tool that you can use. Its called The Marriage Consult. Here’s the link, https://philsovdi.com/the-marriage-consult/