One of Bishop Coyne’s New Year’s Resolutions was
“To be meek but not milquetoast.”
It may seem odd that this is the topic for my Valentine’s Day post. Bishop Coyne probably intended these words to be applied to our spiritual life – our willingness to be obedient to God and to stand up for what we believe in, in a loving, non-violent way.
But I find that, at this juncture in my life, where I most need work on being “meek but no milquetoast” is in my day-to-day relationship with my husband.
You see, Ray and I are both a bit bull-headed. Both of us were the baby in our families, both accustomed to getting our way and being a little bit catered to. We’re both strong-willed, quick to speak, and slow to back down.
And so here’s where the “meek but not milquetoast” bit has begun to sunk in with me.
Sometimes Ray says things that I don’t appreciate. Things that make me feel undervalued, unappreciated, and more than just a little ticked off. Once he’s said it, he’s not going to take it back, and he’s certainly not going to apologize.
I’d like to give him a piece of my mind, reminding him of all the wonderful things I do, that I work late into the night folding clothes and cleaning the house. I want to inform him that he gets to sleep while I clean up vomit, stroke backs and hold back hair. Yet…
“A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech,
And her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.”
There are times when he does things that I disagree with, or that I find annoying. I’d like to tell him exactly what I think of his actions. But…
“[Your adornment should] be in the imperishable beauty of a
gentle and calm disposition,
which is precious in the sight of God.”
(1 Pet 3:4)
So this is when I need to be “meek but not milquetoast.” This is when I need to bite my tongue and pick my battles.
My mom used to always ask me, “Stephanie, is that really a mountain you want to die on?”
The fact of the matter is, there aren’t really many mountains I want to die on.
That’s my gift to my Valentine this year. A more peaceful wife, a more peaceful home… All because I can choose to be meek, though I will never be milquetoast.