Gentleness has never been my strong suit. I know and recognize that. I am aware of it. I try and try to be more gentle. Yet, in the moment of things “not going my way”, I still find myself being the complete opposite of gentle. I am a ticking time bomb, waiting to burst. I am loud and get defensive easily. I have a temper that is made of fire. All things that are not good, to anybody.
My husband and I get in tiffs, like all couples. We have our differences and our personalities don’t always align. The biggest struggle we have in these moments, though, is our lack of gentleness. Without ratting him out too much, Drew is very blunt. He says it how it is without putting too much thought into it. I, on the other end, think too much about what it is that I need to say. I bottle everything up and sit on it, sometimes for days, weeks. Until it all comes out in attack mode. Both of these lack gentleness.
When it comes to my son, I have heard countless times “Oh, that is so like your mother.” He has a temper, he is two. He has a stubborn side and he does what he wants when he wants to. And because of that, I thought I had failed him. In just two short years, I had made him be exactly the way that I never wanted- the worst part of me.
God speaks to us gently. He doesn’t yell in our faces. He doesn’t come at us like a wrecking ball. He sneaks up on us, quietly and with a hug of peace. His gentle touch can do so much more than a slap in the face. It says that He is there. That He cares and has never given up. His gentleness is worth so much more than anything else He could ever give me.
I have found this to be the same way with both my husband and my son. If Drew and I can sit calmly, gracefully seeking what it is that we need to work on, then the results are one thousand times better than an “I win and you lose” agreement. I’ve found that if I try to yell at my son ten times to put his toys away, when he’s obviously ignoring me and refusing, then all it turns into is my temper coming out, his temper coming out, and a fight that I never wanted in the first place. But when I gently get on his level, looking at his sweet eyes and finding another way to get him to put his toys away, then we both end up with a smile on our face and tears avoided.
I have self reflected many times, and again, I know that this is something that I lack fully. Gentleness is all about being self-aware. In the heat of the moment, you have to be able to take step back, breathe, and ask God to fill you with that peacefully graceful gentleness.
Seek that gentle voice.