Published April 7, 2010
As we near the end of the list of the Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22, 23, we approach the fruit of Gentleness. How do we put on a spirit of gentleness in our stepfamily?
Meet our rabbit, Midnight. Midnight is a big, fluffy rabbit who loves to be held like a baby and petted like a cat. But he only responds to a gentle environment. If you react harshly or create surroundings that don’t feel safe to him, he quickly withdraws from you.
The same could be true with our stepchildren. They need to feel safe in our home or they will withdraw from us. They deserve gentle words from us, not harsh or angry attitudes.They need to know they are loved and cared about.
I think gentleness starts with consideration of others and a courteous attitude. We have to put aside selfish behaviors that look out for our best interests to allow an opportunity for gentleness to emerge. We must be willing to be helpful and interactive with others and their needs.
Gentleness cannot compete with pride. If we have a prideful spirit, we react with thoughtlessness and self-seeking behavior. Pride produces anger instead of compassion. It promotes harshness. For gentleness to be evident, pride must be eliminated.
Gentleness is a disposition any of us can attain. It takes conscious effort and intentional actions. But I believe the rewards are worth the effort.