Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force! ― Charlotte Brontë
1. kindly; amiable: a gentle manner.
2. not severe, rough, or violent; mild.
3. moderate: gentle.
4. polite; refined; respectable.
Gentleness no longer popular, its gone out of fashion like good manners and being feminine. Gentleness is considered a sign of weakness. Women who are gentle are seen as passive. Training a daughter to be gentle is seen as anti-feminist. Modern women are taught to be tough like men, stand up for themselves, domineering, speak their mind, be forceful, loud, willing to fight. You won't find too many gentle women in positions of power.
What was once considered a strength is now considered a weakness.
Let your gentleness be known to all men. (Philippians 4:5)
Along with the death of gentleness, we have also seen the decline in meekness, kindness, caring, goodness, faithfulness, self-control and patiences. In the race for equality, women have lost the very essences of what being a woman is. Women have given up all that is good in their fight to be the same as men. Sadly, good men also have these strengths, it is not just the realm of women. We need gentle men in positions of power.
In our rough and rugged individualism, we think of gentleness as weakness, being soft and virtually spineless. Not so! Gentleness includes such enviable qualities as having strength under control, being calm and peaceful when surrounded by a heated atmosphere, emitting a soothing effect on those who may be angry or otherwise beside themselves, and possessing tact and gracious courtesy that causes others to retain their self-esteem and dignity. Instead of losing, the gentle gain. Instead of being ripped off and taken advantage of, they come out ahead! ― Charles Swindoll
To speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. (Titus 3:2)
I am not always gentle in my behaviour and it is something I have been actively working on. My first point of call is the Bible which contains many verses on this very topic. Men and women alike have been instructed to remain gentle in our responses, to turn away from wrath, to remain pure at heart, peaceable with all men, have patiences and self contol and for women in particular, have a quiet and gentle spirit. This does not mean you cannot disagree with someone or stand up and defend yourself. We will from time to time come into conflict with others. How we respond to that conflict is what is important.
Our response needs to be one of gentleness in the way we speak (removing all tones of anger), our manner towards the other person needs to show kindness and not signs of attack, remaining polite and gracious, and it means being more than willing to give or take ― winning at all costs is not relevant. Being able to walk away and not engage in an argument. This all takes courage and self-control. It isn't something you can suddenly learn in a moment of conflict, it is a behaviour that is learnt from a tender age and continually practiced. Jesus is our role model ― He never raised his voice, cried out or yelled, he remained humble in all situations.
Gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:23)
We need to wear our gentleness like a badge, be proud of being gentle, showing our children that being gentle is a sign of strength, discipline, courage and self-control ― not a sign of passive, wimpish, give-in attitude.
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient (2 Timothy 2:24)
Gentleness at home, gentleness in the workplace, gentleness around friends and strangers. It isn't something we switch on and off ― we need to do it all the time, it is not an option it is an obligation. Gentleness does not mean you can't have a good time, it isn't about being boring or dull. It doesn't mean you can't laugh out loud, say a joke and have fun. It does mean however, thinking before you speak, not hurting another person with your words and walking like Christ and pursing godliness.
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11)
Gentleness in a marriage can transform a marriage from a train wreck to something beautiful. Even if your husband is not gentle (quick to angry), walking in the path of gentleness can make all the differences. Always think of Proverbs 15:1 when things are beginning to turn nasty ― A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The Bible is full of advice to live by and when in doubt turn to the Bible as our life manual. I know that we know this, but in times of rage, it is easy to forget.
With all lowliness and gentleness, with long suffering, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)
If you are struggling with gentleness in your life, pray. Only through the grace of God can we become gentle women. Instead of looking to the harsh world for advice, turn your face upwards to God. His words are full of gentleness, grace, love, kindness. Write in your journal these beautiful verses, carry them with you in your purse, read them when in doubt. No one says being gentle is easy, but with God, all things are possible.
Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:4)