Gentleness is grace and power

Posted on February 27, 2017 · Posted in Proverbs and the Gospel, Wisdom

tiger-mother-cub

Gentleness is God’s answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God’s truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes being gentle as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness

To restate:
Gentleness stands against the deeds of the flesh.
Gentleness turns aside wrath.
Gentleness instructs those who oppose you.
Gentleness demonstrates wisdom from above.
Gentleness describes the heart of Christ.

Gentleness is an underused tool in leading children to obey and trust God. It represents the power of God and it is always the appropriate response in addressing the battles of parenting. It is not a sign of weakness but of power. Gentleness is always to be used in discipline. It is always to accompany firmness. Not only does gentleness add grace to your instruction and correction, it is essential when implementing consequences. The Proverbs teach that pleasant words promote instruction. Gentleness is power for doing what God has called you to do as a parent.

Gentleness is using only the strength or force that is appropriate for any particular situation. The biblical use of discipline is wisdom in action. Instead of anger, hurt or frustration, the Spirit of God calls you to respond with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness. When you respond with the appropriate force of gentleness, the whole might and power of the character of God is on display. However, when your power is on display it becomes an easy target for your kids and the enemy of your soul to attack and conquer.

Included with this post is a picture of a mother tiger gently carrying her cub. The power of the mother is easily seen and respected. It is obvious that she is using just enough force to get the job done. Her immense power is always there and is highlighted by her gentle care of her cub.

Use the Holy Spirit’s fruit of gentleness to lead your children to trust and submit to the power of God. Gentleness uses grace to display the power of your God. Be patient with God as you watch the grace and power of gentleness at work.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.