The Gift of Gentleness
Ain’t no hood like motherhood! Some days it may feel like a war zone in your home filled with little people. Some days you might feel like a zombie surviving off of one cup of coffee after another. Some days you might feel like popping the child with an abundance of backtalk or sass. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. The Lord is so gracious to provide us with a learning curve as our children grow in age and development and as we grow alongside them in our mothering.
God is our gracious father how knows our beings, our capabilities, and our limitations. In creating the role of mother, God showered His gentleness on us to give us time and opportunity to grow in our wisdom and knowledge of motherhood as our children reach new milestones and require more from us. The gift of gentleness from God is the gradual process of growth in motherhood as we learn how to best direct our children to Him.
When our newborn babies are first placed in our arms, we are filled with feelings of love and the weight of responsibility. In God’s gentleness, we enter into motherhood with the focus being on meeting the basic needs of our child. Our babies need to eat and sleep and we are stripped of our own needs as we care for theirs in preparation for future mothering tasks. God shows us His gentleness so that we are able to in turn be gentle with our children. “But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” (1 Thessalonians 2:7) As we grow in selflessness we are equipped for the next stage of development in our children.
We enter the toddler years where independence grows and we must teach our children about safety. The strong bond we developed with our babies builds a trust between child and mother. Through His gentle order, God provides opportunity for us to incorporate spiritual safety while we teach our children physical safety. As we teach our children to hold our hands, may we also explain that God has them firmly within His strong and capable hands. As we teach our children to look both ways before crossing the street, may we explain the importance of walking with the Lord every single day. “I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.” (Proverbs 4:11-12) Through these years of exploration and learning, may the gentleness of God be evident in the watching eyes and listening ears of our children.
Then our children enter school and are introduced to peer-influence and must learn to make right decisions on their own. In His gentleness, God has used the previous seasons of motherhood to prepare us to equip our children in this new stage of life. When difficult conversations arise and when we have to wade through hazardous topics with our children, let us fall back on the solid foundation we have built with them. As we have grown in motherhood, we know our children and are better able to communicate wisdom and knowledge to them so they can be confident as they navigate school and relationships. “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18) The hope is that our children will live out their beliefs with a desire to obey God. In God’s gentleness, He provided mothers with years of relationship building with their children to guide more difficult situations as children grow older.
A mother’s hope is that her child will grow to act reasonably and with integrity. In His gentleness, God provided ages and stages of motherhood for lifelong growth and development. This same gentleness is seen in the growth process of the Christian life. As new believers, we are encouraged, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3) We become spiritual toddlers and gain our footing, but the Lord gently corrects our missteps as we learn to walk in His truth. If we faithfully follow the Lord, “Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.” (Proverbs 3:23) We continue to mature in the Lord and grow in Christlikeness to go out into the world and spread His truth. In Ephesians 4:13-14 we are encouraged to keep pursuing spiritual growth “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” God gives us His gift of gentleness in our spiritual lives that mirrors our physical lives. We progress in our faith as we see Him moving and working in our lives and as we increase in knowledge and wisdom through His Word. Just as we mothers desire for our children to grow up to be honorable and worthy men and women, so also our Heavenly Father desires His children to grow in godliness and righteousness.
Look back at the preparation God has so gently provided in previous seasons in your motherhood for the battle you might face today. Look forward to how God is using this current season in your life to mature and equip you for the future. Praise the Lord today for His gentleness to us as we grow in motherhood and Christlikeness.