Mom & The Power of Gentleness

We lived in a second floor apartment and I had fallen down the stairs. I remember sitting on the bottom step, about four-years-old, crying and holding my leg as my mother sat next to me. With gentle words and a soft touch, she comforted me and assured that I was not hurt too badly. My mother’s gentleness convinced me I would survive and empowered me as a young child to get back up and play. I had survived, empowered by gentle words and gentle touch. As an adult, I have watched my wife offer the same gentle words to our children when they were hurt, scared, or upset. In each instance, our children were strengthened and empowered to overcome the obstacles…all through their mother’s gentle words and gentle touch.
Perhaps the whole family can learn from the example of a mother’s gentleness. The power of gentleness enables a person to keep their emotions in check, controlling those emotions so they do not overwhelm the other person. Gentleness learns to bring up sensitive issues with kindness–softly and carefully in order to avoid overwhelming the other person. It avoids harshness, critical statements, and sarcasm. Gentleness speaks the truth in love, in a tone and manner that enables the other person to hear it, understand it, accept it, and act upon it. A gentle answer even turns away anger and rage (Proverbs 15:1). It prevents many an argument and encourages strength in relationship.
Gentleness also means knowing when to step back and allow a person to learn some truth on their own, even though we know the answer already. It is a “strong hand with a soft touch;” a hand that guides without pushing and leads without pulling; a hand that simply rests on a shoulder to offer support and strength to the journey.
All in all, a gentle person has great power—the power to comfort, strengthen, encourage, calm, and soothe; the power to turn away anger and find restoration; the power to have the truth heard. Isn’t that the kind of power we want to wield in our family? Isn’t that the type of power we hope our family members develop? Those who have had the privilege of living under a gentle mother know that power. We have benefitted from the rippling effect of that gentle power in our own lives. But, the power of gentleness is not confined only to mothers. We can extend gentleness to every family member. Families can strive to make gentleness a staple in the whole family—so mother, father, son, and daughter alike will exhibit that powerful trait. Let us all endeavor to practice gentleness and, as we do, watch how it promotes a stronger, more intimate family filled with the joy of peace!

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