The power of gentleness

Posted on · Posted in Communication

Parents, how would you answer these questions:

• 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?

• Do you sometimes get angry and hurt when those close to you don’t seek your help?

If these questions created some uneasiness and tension as you read them, God does have a way for you to resolve the uneasiness. The biblical character quality that can help you become the go-to person for those whom you love is gentleness.

Being gentle is not for the faint of heart. It requires great courage. Here are some of the positive benefits of deploying gentleness:

• Gentleness is the opposite of weakness.

• Gentleness is the Spirit’s fruit.

• 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. 

In short, God wants you to associate gentleness with power not weakness. Why?

Because Christ is gentle. If you want to be Christ-like, ask God for the strength to follow his example (Matthew 11:28-30):

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Ask Christ to help you say genuine pleasant words like these to those whom you love. Think about the difference a gentle spirit would mean to your family:

Hey, I know you have been having a hard time, lately. I want you to know I understand. I remember when I have 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 these words to them? Would it be a surprise?

Are you gentle?

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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.