I’m not sure what your home has been looking like these last few weeks, but ours is starting to get a bit restless. Not restless to necessarily “do more” but restless in the sense of being more easily annoyed and more easily frustrated. Buttons are pushed a little bit quicker, comments come out a little bit harsher and irritation seems to creep up a little bit faster than it did a couple of weeks ago. Our “flesh” is hanging out a bit more, so to speak…and the tone is one we are having to fight against. MY tone is one I am having to fight against.
I am so thankful for the Word of God…His Words speak truth to my heart, shine light on the path of obedience and cause me to see my sin, repent, and put on His heart, through Jesus Christ. I was convicted and encouraged by Psalm 18:35 and thought they might be words you needed to hear too, as we are all in this unique quarantine season together.
“You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great.”
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary defines gentleness as a “sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love”. Beautiful, huh?!
When I look at my life, and especially as I examine my words and my actions these past few weeks, gentleness can definitely be a missing ingredient. As a parent and even as a wife, many times I am not gentle in what I say and how I treat my family. I can be demanding, expressing my desires and wishes with a level of harshness that is not helpful. I can lack compassion, forgetting how a word of encouragement and a moment of kindness can brighten the soul. I can be exacting, enforcing rules with an iron fist and forgetting the mercy and grace that has been shown to me and is so desperately needed by my family, as well.
I know what it takes to build up my family, to encourage them to greatness….but I am prone to wander, prone to speak and act with a measure of foolishness:
“Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1
Yet, there is hope…great hope! God is Himself the essence of gentleness, and through the Holy Spirit this is a fruit that my life not only can produce, but will produce by His grace and in His strength (Gal. 5:22-23). His gentleness has made me great…has wrought salvation in my heart, made me a daughter of the King, and taught me what true greatness looks like: serving and sacrificing, just like my Savior. It’s the path of blessing, the journey of peace, the road that is bound for true glory and all that is really great.
His gentle kindness is what gave me life: “Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4
We know that none of us can save our children or husbands, but we can speak words of life to them and live out those words, day by day, hour by hour, as we have this gift of LOTS of extra time together. We can and must speak and act with gentleness: with a humble spirit that is strengthened by God’s grace (Heb. 13:9) and motivated by His amazing love that has been poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5). In that spirit, we can show a sensitivity to their emotional, physical and spiritual needs, with a kindness that leads them to an honest evaluation of their choices and genuine repentance over their own sin.
His gentleness has made us great. Oh, may our families see His great gentleness through us!