Strength in Humility

Strength in Humility

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While eating breakfast one morning I thought about my son not liking confrontations; then recalled that I don’t like to argue either. I pondered the thought for a moment and wondered why I don’t like to argue – do I get angry too quick and want to fight or am I scared of being humiliated.

I began to wonder why some people love to argue, debate, and confront and other individuals will avoid confrontation at all costs. As I sipped my peppermint mocha coffee I recollected my childhood and remembered that my parents verbally argued a lot when I was a young child, which is why I think I don’t like the sound of people yelling, cursing and screaming at each other. I never saw my dad raise his hands at my mother and never heard his voice during the arguments. I assumed it was because my mother talked louder and faster.

I vividly remember one morning after hearing mom yell at dad that I prayed for my father to be stronger as I watched him walk to work one morning. His shoulders looked slumped, his face looked sad and he looked lost to an eight year old.

Fast forward 30 years… I married two abusive men and seemed to always get involved in relationships with men who were verbally abusive. The relationships didn’t start out abusive. I determined as a child that I did not want a ‘weak’ man so I purposely chose men that were the opposite of my dad. Men I considered to be strong, confident, in-control, and spoke what was on their minds.

Since being divorced for several years, choosing to work on myself, and reflecting on the men in my life, I’ve come to realize that the men I chose were the weak, insecure, and scared ones. They were controlling, disrespectful, inconsiderate, argumentative, and verbally abusive. I was adamant that I would not marry a ‘weak’ man and selectively chose men that I thought were the opposite of my father – men who smoked, drank, cussed, talked loud, and fought.

It took me fifty years to realize that it takes strength to not fight back, to not retaliate, to not cuss someone out, and to keep your mouth shut and remain calm when accused unfairly. It took me fifty years to realize that my dad was the strong one and the men I considered to be tough and manly because they didn’t let women boss them around were the weak ones.

I now thank God that I inherited my daddy’s humble spirit and passed it on to my son. Me and my offspring do not initiate arguments and we try to avoid confrontations, but he and I will stand up for ourselves if necessary.

Humility is not weakness but a submissive spirit.

Thank God if you were able to celebrate Father’s Day with your dad on Sunday June 19…My father has been gone to glory since 1978.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.                                          Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)

Barbara Harvey Carter About Barbara Harvey Carter

Barbara Harvey Carter is a Registered Nurse, speaker, workshop facilitator and Christian counselor. She has a passion for women's issues and writes novels about spiritual warfare in Christian relationships. For more info, please visit her website.


  1. Barbara-what a beautiful testimony. I heard my mom and dad argue, too. And I was determined not to be that way. I hate confrontation, but will stand up when I need to. Fortunately my second husband is a gentle man filled with the love of Jesus. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. As soon as you described your dad from an eight-year-old’s point of view, I loved him dearly. A saint of God.

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