Gentleness requires at least two things: faith and courage.
Authentic gentleness is part of the Spirit’s fruit. Thus, faith is the only way to access the power of gentleness and show the wonder of gentleness.
To do anything that is possible only by the power of God’s Spirit requires courage. Why? Because to follow God in any area means to deny the desires of our flesh. Being biblically gentle is not natural. Now if you think being gentle is weak and non-confrontational, then you might not see why courage is needed. However, the Spirit’s idea of gentleness is all about confrontation and strength.
Let me repeat that. Gentleness is about confrontation and strength!
- When a harsh or outrageous charge is made, gentleness is the response. Pro. 15:1
- When someone opposes you gentleness is required. 2 Tim. 2:25
- Gentleness represents the active work of Christ. Matt. 11:28-30
- Gentleness represents God’s wisdom from above and helps prevent fights. James 3:17
- Gentleness is part of the Spirit’s weaponry wins God’s victories using his methods. 2 Col. 10:3-5.
It is time to rethink the power and place of gentleness in your life and parenting. Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you want your children to see you as someone they can trust?
- Do you want your spouse to take comfort in just being with you?
- Are you easy to talk to?
- Is your family hesitant to talk you when they are hurting?
- If someone in your family messes up or is in trouble are you the person that helps him feel secure and safe, the person that she knows will help make things right?
You want the answer to these questions to be yes. Gentleness will help make that happen. In this context, anger is a destructive substitute for gentleness. This is because gentleness is the exercise of the Spirit’s power. Your anger is the exercise of your own self-centeredness.
Gentleness uses only the strength or force that is necessary for any given situation. Gentleness is showing Christ to those whom you love. God wants you to associate gentleness with power, not weakness.
Here is an example of a gentle response to a teenager who is having a hard time:
Hey, I know you have been having a hard time, lately. I want you to know I understand. I remember when I felt the same way. I am not upset with you. I just want to help. Jesus can help you get through this. He knows how much you are hurting. Let’s try and work through this together. I love you.
What would your family think if you said words like these instead of being frustrated?
Faith + Courage = Gentleness.