For the last several Wednesdays, I’ve been mentioning the fruit of the Spirit that are given in Galatians 5:22-23 and how we can teach and demonstrate those to our children. My first thought about today’s topic was “What exactly is gentleness?” One of the definitions I found described it this way: “Considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender.”
There is certainly enough in those few words to keep me growing for many a day! Do I show consideration to others in my actions and speech? As always, starting at home is often the first step since, strange as it is, I often seem to be more considerate of strangers than my own family members. Am I being kind in the words that I speak to my husband and children? Is my heart tender to their hurts and the feelings that they share with me or am I too preoccupied with my own problems to really care?
Living this out at home also applies to our children. What a great thing if we accomplish the task of having them be gentle toward their siblings! Few things touch my heart like seeing one of my children show kindness either to a family member or a friend. Just last week, my eight-year-old showed some maturity in the way she treated her sister and a friend. Then this morning, with no prompting, my six-year-old took her sister’s breakfast dishes, rinsed them off and put them in the dishwasher for her. While there are always struggles and challenges ahead, to think that just a seed of the teaching and training may finally take root is so rewarding. Thank God that His Holy Spirit can work in us and through us in spite of our many failings.
“The way to overcome the angry man is with gentleness, the evil man with goodness, the miser with generosity and the liar with truth.” – Indian proverb
“It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others.” – Joseph Addison
“Isn’t it strange that its easier to be gentle with the feelings of people we care less about than those of our children, whom we love so much?” – Stephanie Martson
“Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them.” – Mo Udall
” A gentle hand may lead even an elephant by a hair.”- Iranian proverb