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What Happens When Love Leads


Gwen Smith

October 6, 2016

Blog, Christian Living, Grace, Healing, Love, Parenting, Trusting God

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“I’m a terrible mom!” Do you ever say these words?

I do.

And I did that day… the day several years ago when I was working in my office, minding my own business, when out of now where my son threw a paper airplane at the back of my head … on purpose.

Not one to normally welcome an air attack, I gritted my teeth, gave him the stern “mom voice,” and asked him to stop messing around. I told him I needed some private time so I could get some work done.

He agreed and turned to leave.

Then he jumped around and threw it at me again!

Let me tell you, my grace-o-meter was reading pretty low at this point. I barked like an angry dog. “What in the world do you think you are doing? I just told you that I needed to be left alone so I can get some work done! Stop it, Preston!”

“But mom, there’s a message on the plane,” he tenderly replied. “Read it.”

As I unfolded the orange, construction paper airplane, I saw this message written in pink marker: “Mom, I Love You.” A few X’s and O’s followed his affectionate plane declaration.

You know: hug, hug, kiss, kiss. Pure precious.

Nice! I said to myself. Loser-mom strikes again.

I had scolded my son and reacted out of frustration with a harsh tone. All the while, my son was trying to tell me that he loves me.

I felt horrible.

Time stood still as a self-condemning internal dialog began.

Shame began to fill my heart, but as it did the Spirit of God within me gently nudged – reminding me that condemnation is not from Him. His conviction, however, spurred me on toward choosing a more godly response.

I whispered a quick prayer. And as I moved in the way of grace the Lord changed the tone of my heart. God’s love trumped my anger.

I called Preston back into my office and apologized for my behavior. I invited my tall, lanky pre-teen to sit on my lap and stared a new conversation in a calmer tone. Honey, while I’m not particularly fond of airplane attacks, especially while I’m working, I AM fond of love attacks.

We shared a sweet moment. And as we reconciled, this truth rose in my heart: when we allow God’s love to trump our anger, we position ourselves to experience restoration in relationships.

The Bible tells us that we are to be slow to anger.

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:19-20)

It’s a lesson that I am still learning.

Now, that doesn’t mean we should never be angry. Jesus exhibited righteous anger in the Jerusalem temple when he drove out the merchants that were buying and selling there. Righteous anger is biblically permissible. We should be angry about sin and injustice. But when we respond to others in anger, it becomes our sin.

Got any relationships that are in need of restoration?

Is there any anger, unforgiveness, or bitterness in your heart that might be gaining a stronghold in your life and keeping you from God’s best? Are you quick to listen or quick to speak?

The benefits of allowing the love of God to trump any anger in my heart is tremendous, but the application sure can be challenging. I can’t overcome my natural, sinful tendencies to react, and overreact, in anger alone. I need God’s help. You do too. His grace will meet us at our need when we call on Him and the Holy Spirit will help us to respond in God’s perfect love, not our own.

Join me in asking God for His love to lead us today.


Holy Father,
You are perfect in love… and I am not. I confess my anger / bitterness / unforgiveness right now when it comes to _______________ (fill in the blank). Please forgive me and bring restoration to the relationships that have been affected by my anger. Help me recognize when I over-react or when I respond in anger that is ungodly. Give me the grace to respond in love, to be slow to speak, and quick to listen.
In Jesus’ name, amen.



READ Ephesians 4:26-31. Make a list of what the Bible says we should and should not do. Then use that list to guide you in prayer.

Do you need to trade anger for love? Spend a few moments in prayer. If you are feeling brave, write your prayer on my wall and encourage one another!


Thanks for doing life with me!

As always, my posts are not meant to be monologs … they are meant to be a dialog. I’d love to hear how this topic is relevant to you. Leave a comment below and take the conversation deeper.

Warm Blessings,




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About Gwen Smith

Gwen Smith

I am an unashamed, imperfect worshiper of Jesus Christ. I cling to His goodness to cover my mess and purpose my days to live out the hope of the Gospel. It is my joy and passion to inspire women to live fully in grace and truth. I write books, devotions and songs. I speak. I sing. I worship. I post, pin and tweet. I am intensely in love with the Word of God and believe, wholeheartedly, that the Bible is divinely inspired truth.


8 responses to “What Happens When Love Leads”

  1. Susan Roach says:

    Haha it’s funny how sometimes I don’t get to read these the day I get them (no coincidence). So the Lord woke me early this morning. I have been out of my “normal routine” this past week and a few days with moving my parents from NC back to PA. While my husband and I drove back with their vehicle as they drove their 26′ Uhaul truck and hitting several bumps in the road on the way. One big bump we would experience would be after they arrive to the house they were renting, after 17 hours on the road. The house was destroyed and not livable. This really wasn’t “a bump in the road” it was an answer to our prayers. We have been praying for salvation for my parents for 6 years and this was part of His plan. I had gotten angry several times along the way dealing with the realtors and was able to pray and bring it back to this is part of “Gods plan”. Great right? I would say so. My short fuse and anger gets directed toward my husband and I don’t pray as quickly and turn to God; I hold a grudge AND feel very justified. Not good! So the Lord wakes me early this morning, 4:30 to get up early before anyone wakes in our house; mom and dad are with us until their new place is ready. I read this devotion and I’m thinking, “no anger here things have been pretty good”. Then … I hear Gods gentle voice say, “how about how you were with your husband last night.” Ugh … yes Lord I was not graceful with my husband last night at all. And was it really a big deal why I was angry? No! But justifying it in mind it was! Didn’t I see the big red flag that said, “don’t justify have mercy, grace and love”. I mean really sometimes the punishment does not fit the crime; not that I’m the one that punishes. Lord please help me to be more graceful and loving to my husband. And were my parents watching the way I treated my husband? You betcha! Not a great example. Be careful what you allow in your mind.
    Thank you God for the gifts you have given my sister in Christ, Gwen. Thank You for using her to help so many women.
    Love you sister😘

  2. Cynthia says:

    This message was right on target. I struggle with impatience with my older husband sometimes. I think some of it’s out of fear as I see signs of hearing loss. That’s no excuse though as God requires, commands, that I put my emotions in check. Thank you for bringing this to my attention again Lord through your servant Gwen and keep reminding me to be quick to listen and slow to speak.

  3. Kim Traynor says:

    Lord thank you so much for the conviction. Lord, forgive me for the times I truly do over-react and unknowingly say things that may actually hurt and cut deep/deeper than I even realize. Lord, I do love, and I do forgive wholeheartedly. But I confess right now Lord, sometimes I rush ahead, “trying” to do my own version of mending fences, I allow pride to stain some of my very best intentions. I am doing a terrible job. Because YOU are the Master Restorer Lord! You don’t need any “help” doing what you do best! Thank you for keeping me in my lane as I endure these valley moments while on life’s journey. It’s by your gentle reminding me to: “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10 that I am being taught patience. It allows me the time to truly appreciate the significance of your timetable Father, not mine.
    And thank you for using your daughter & my sister in you; Gwen. Placing in her the boldness I pray daily for to be the best ambassador I can be. Continually being mindful of your precious sacrifice on the Cross. Continue to press on Gwen and everyone else. Be well all!

  4. Cathy says:

    Lord, please help me to love You and all the people in my life more than my concerns about how to handle or keeping “things” in my life, in Jesus’ name

  5. Dusty says:

    Lord, please help me to have patience with my oldest son and help us not to butt heads all the time. Help me to be a great mom in Christ and show love to him. Help him as he grows up and help him to follow you.

  6. Diane Nicholson says:

    I love your emails Gwen. They are usually very timely. I learnt many years ago that “the way of Agape” is always the best way. It took me a very difficult time in my life to learn it, but it has stood with me. I am again going through tough situations and my brother said “I don’t see any anger, and you have a right to be angry”. Of course I have but God is greater, and His love endures forever, and brings peace.

  7. Fiona says:

    Lord help me to love and care for my elderly mother and see it as a priviledge rather than a burden

  8. Brenda Vason says:

    Gwen, this message was right on time this morning as I sat before God, praying and listening for his daily instructions. Thank you. Brenda

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