Gentleness Is Not
It is the age of the empowerment of women. Women are encouraged to join every workforce and meet all the needs and find all the strength they need to succeed. Women are supporting women in new and bold ways and every big and small act of bravery is applauded. Mothers need encouragement and bravery in the everyday, but let us first and foremost ensure that we are encouraging our mom communities to pursue godliness above all else.
In motherhood, when we walk in the Spirit of God we are equipped to live in gentleness. Gentleness is not a weakness. Gentleness is putting on the strength of the Lord and allowing His character to speak and act through you. Gentleness is not a limitation. Gentleness is controlling your response and demeanor and choosing to act in a loving, understanding manner. Gentleness is not timidity. Gentleness is harnessing emotion and action to pursue peace and display compassion. In motherhood, gentleness is not a liability but is a lifeline to communication and relationship building with our children.
Mothers do not need to be loud and explosive to be heard. In our desire to put on the gentleness of the Lord, let us remember 1 Kings 19 where the presence of the Lord passed by Elijah. The Lord was not in a powerful wind, a destructive earthquake, or a blazing fire. “After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:12 NIV) While the Lord is mightier that the wind, stronger than the earthquake, and fiercer than the fire He chose to speak to His prophet in a gentle whisper. He still speaks to His people in heart whispers if we are willing to listen. When we speak in gentle whispers or gentle tones to our children they are more prone to respond in a gentler way. When our voices usher in gentleness then calm can enter into the chaos.
Mothers are not called to the task of gentleness on their own. Mothers are given the Spirit of Christ to co-labor together. In Matthew 11:29 Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” A yoke is a harness used for a team of oxen to pull a cart. It is difficult work so two oxen are placed together under one yoke to accomplish the task together. In our own power, we cannot respond in gentleness every time. In our own strength, we cannot display gentleness in our interactions. In our own effort, we cannot live in gentleness and peace. But when we take on the yoke of Christ then we can co-labor together. Under the yoke of Christ we are equipped with His power and strength and might.
Mothers living in gentleness are not dull or ordinary. Mothers living in gentleness radiate eternal beauty that cannot fade. First Peter 3:4 reminds us, “But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” It is easy to dwell on all the unglamorous parts of motherhood. In the early years we have spit up or drool etc. on our wrinkled clothes or in our unwashed hair. As our kids get older we may feel stuck in a rut of chef, chauffeur, and maid. Our momiform may seem boring and our lack of accessories may appear bland, but the joy of the Lord should radiate from within us so the whole world sees His glory through our everyday mothering. Our beauty is found within because the Spirit of God resides in us. His gentle and quiet Spirit enables us to embrace His calling on our lives, even the mundane moments of motherhood. When we walk in His gentleness then His beauty is displayed in us.
God created man and woman. God created a purpose for both men and women. Our purpose and our ultimate calling is to bring glory to Himself. When we respond in gentleness in motherhood then we see and experience that gentleness is not a weakness, gentleness is not explosive, gentleness is not a path we walk alone, and gentleness is not dull or ordinary. When we respond in gentleness to our children then we show them the character of our Savior and Lord and bring glory to His name.