Before I had Ti I never realized how important the role of gentleness is in the grand scheme of life. It was always, I thought a natural reaction therefore I didn't see it's profound significance. Now in the process of raising a child my daily task is to help him embrace this concept. Basically if I can't help my son understand how to be gentle he will be a menace to society and mommy will be a walking bruise. Some days I am so proud because it is clear to me he understands how to be gentle when he rubs my husbands head and in a whisper says "me dad". But then we have moments when my wake up call is a cymbal clapping giraffe to the face and then I realize we still have work to do.
Children live in the moment. Their innocence takes away all sense of fear and insecurity. They flow with their surroundings and have absolutely no boundaries. That's why children have parents. We get to be the buzz kill that establishes "no" and "stop" in their life.
At 20 months I am starting to see the fruit of my labour when interacting with Ti. He stops mid play to give me nice hugs, the biting has become minimal and he loves to give sweet boogie kisses right on the lips. He is now responding to the idea that hugging mommy makes her smile, punching her in the head makes her cry.
Somewhere in my life I stopped being educated on how to be gentle and gentleness became a part of my nature. I learned the limitations that I can exist in without causing physical, emotional or mental harm to myself or another individual.
In scripture we read that as Christians we are given the Holy Spirit to live within us giving us guidance. A sign of living with the Spirit, according to God is the fruit we bear. Christian's who live daily in the Spirit don't have apples and oranges growing from their limbs but should exhibit the characteristics of God or the fruit of
"love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. "
I think as Christians we focus a lot on loving our neighbour, being filled with the joy of the Lord, being patient and having kind hearts. We try to do good and live our life with faith in God. But where we lack is being gentle and having self control. We fight, we put down, we push our way through knocking whomever out of our way. We think of ourselves and not of others. We open our mouths and spout nonsense without realizing how that affects someone else. We impress our ideas on others and reject their thoughts. We bully, we tear apart, we push away.
In raising my child I am in the first stage of gentleness training. I have to teach him how to conduct himself in a kind, gentle, compassionate way. Once he learns more words I will have to help him learn how to control those words and use them for love and productivity instead of harm and destruction. Then my next challenge will be guarding him from the lethal combination of hand & mouth. This task I fear and I will pray myself through.
As we go through our life do we focus on the trendy, appealing fruits that living a life for God produce, or do we mind that a healthy balance of all fruits be tended and cared for and present in our lives?
You may not walk your way through life pushing everyone to the ground, but do you slash their souls and wound their hearts with your tongue?
My son didn't know and sometimes still doesn't understand that hitting another person is not acceptable. But as I raise him and teach him he is learning that handing me a toy is much more productive than throwing it at me and hurting me. As we walk our journey may we look to God for correction. May we never believe the lie that we have arrived. May we allow Him to show us our flaws and may we try to change them.