I can think of times when I had PMS, was anxious or upset, crying, or in tons of pain, and Greg just gently, quietly pulled me into a hug.
He could have gotten angry in those moments. He could have been irritated. But he wasn’t. He was calm and gentle. Steady. Warm. And welcoming.
He knew that using logic at that moment wouldn’t help. I needed a soft place to fall. He would often tell me to relax and rest.
When he uses his strength to wrap me in a tender embrace, my heart melts. My fears begin to dissolve. My tears slow down. My blood pressure and heart rate drop back to normal.
Before long, I can start to see the world more clearly again and hope is restored.
Gentleness is powerful. It’s what we all need to thrive.
It’s powerful in a man’s love.
It’s powerful in a woman’s love, too.
The power of a woman’s gentleness
When a man is in a bad mood and his woman responds softly, it’s disarming and comforting. She often can help deescalate the situation.
I love Gary Chapman’s real-life example (in “Sacred Influence”) of a husband who was about to lose his temper with his petrified young son on a ski slope and his wife came over, slowly turning her head from side to side, and said, “No.”
Looking at him with kindness and strength, she said, “I know you’ve been shamed by many men who meant the world to you. And I know that is not what you want to do to your son.” She waited a moment as her words impacted his soul, put her hand on his heart, and said, “You’re a good man,” then turned and skied down the hill.
THAT is a beautiful example of how a godly woman impacts her man gently.
Chapman says, “Even while Dan acted at his worst, his wife called him to his best, using affirmation. She stood up to him, but she also touched him in his anger and firmly but gently reminded him, ‘You’re a good man.'”
What is gentleness?
First of all, let’s describe what it is not.
Gentleness is not:
- Weakness— Weakness has no strength or power and can’t harm others. It is strong people who must learn gentleness, not the weak.
- Niceness—Niceness is not goodness. It may appear to be gentle, but it is really about people-pleasing and seeking people’s approval above God’s, but unwilling to stand against wrong.
- Wishy-washiness—Wishy-Washiness is wimpy and indecisive, unsure of what to do or what is right or best. It quickly gives in to others.
Gentleness is submitting my strength and my will to the Lordship of Christ. It is having the strength to harm but using that strength to bless and help, instead.
Gentleness should go both in a romantic relationship
As women, we don’t have the physical strength our men do, usually. We depend on our guys being gentle with us physically so they use their strength to help us and make our lives better and safer. We also rely on our guys not being harsh with us so we can feel safe with them and thrive. (1 Pet. 3:7)
We have great strength in our words, even if we may not be as strong physically. Let’s be careful to use our words to build up, bless, encourage, and speak life to our men and others. Let’s never use our words to attack, tear down, and destroy. When we treat each other with gentleness, the Lord is honored, oneness improves greatly in our relationships, and others are drawn to Christ in us.
The gentleness challenge
For the next three days, let’s invite God to help us respond to others with gentleness!
- Avoid raising your voice, even if others do.
- Use a calm, gentle tone of voice.
- Whisper if you feel like yelling.
NOTE: Hopefully it goes without saying, don’t ever hit, shove, push, or physically attack your man or anyone else. Don’t threaten physical harm. Don’t throw objects or destroy furniture or kick or punch doors or walls. If anyone in your home (or your life) is physically dangerous and out of control and others aren’t safe, please reach out for help.
What does the Bible say about gentleness?
- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1
- Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Phil. 4:5
- (A woman’s beauty) Let it be [the inner beauty of] the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, 1 Pet. 3:4
Gentleness is stronger than force
If I get up in someone’s face, yell, scream, and pitch a fit, I forfeit my power of influence in that person’s life. Or if I raise my voice and cuss people out and make a big scene, people lose respect for me. They may do what I say, for a time, out of fear. But I can’t reach their hearts and minds this way. I turn them off.
It is the gentle approach that draws people in and inspires them to change. It is kindness, humility, and self-control that attract others and encourage them to be vulnerable and open to my ideas and thoughts.
Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Prov. 25:15
Gentleness breaks down walls of defensiveness. It tells people they are safe with us. It invites relationship, community, and harmony.
What if you mess up the gentleness challenge?
Don’t worry! Just try this approach:
- Immediately apologize (without justifying what you did wrong). “Oh, wow. I apologize for raising my voice.” Or “I’m so sorry I just yelled at you.”
- Then say something like, “That is not how I want to treat you. And that is not the kind of person I want to be. I’d like to try again with gentleness and respect.”
- Then say what you should have said the first time in a kind, positive, gentle way.
- Repent to God and invite Him to help you display His gentleness by the power of His Holy Spirit.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Do you recall a time someone treated you with gentleness and it made a huge impact on you?
Have you learned any wisdom about responding to others with gentleness you believe may inspire others here that you’d like to share?
Much love in Christ! ❤️💕
If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I invite you to come to know Him today.
THE ABC’S OF SALVATION
A = Admit you are a sinner and you can’t be perfect and holy enough in God’s eyes to be right with Him on your own. Turn away from your sin (anything that God says falls short of His holy, perfect standard in your thoughts, attitudes, motives, words, and actions).
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
B = Believe that Jesus (God in the flesh) died on your behalf to pay the price for your sin and to give you a way to be right with God – to be forgiven. He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live. He died the death you deserve and rose from the dead in victory over sin, death, and the grave on your behalf!
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
C = Confess that Jesus is your Lord – this means, Jesus is now your Master and you live your life for Him and His glory rather than for yourself. You say it out loud to others and you live it from now on. You lay down your will and your desires and follow Him, inviting Him to direct and use your life for His will.
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” Rom. 10:9-10
We are not good enough to earn heaven or salvation. None of us are. But Jesus is! He did the work for us that we couldn’t do. He lived the perfect life we couldn’t live. He died the death we deserved. And He offers to exchange His right relationship with God and His holiness with our sinfulness and failure. Then He promises to give us the power we need to live godly lives that honor the Lord as we yield to His control and Lordship.