Are They Missing Something?
As I watched the images of the Woman’s March in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago, I felt a great sense of sadness and maybe even a little anger because these women were globally being portrayed as role models. The women on the screen were angry and harsh. The media lauded them as heroes! Pop star, Madonna, even claimed she’d like to blow up the White House! Even though I don’t have a daughter, I wondered how hard it would be to bring one up in this day in age. There is so much pressure on girls, of all ages, to look, act, and dress a certain way. To add to the confusion, most women portrayed on television, and in movies lack the character and discretion that we would want our daughters to have.
So, what is it that these ladies of the world are lacking? The word gentleness comes to mind. One definition of gentleness claims that it is a sensitivity of disposition and kindness of behavior, founded on strength and prompted by love. The words of J.R. Miller describe gentleness perfectly, “Gentleness is a beautiful quality. It is essential to true character. Nobody admires ungentleness in either man or woman. When a man is harsh, cold, unfeeling, unkind, and crude and rough in his manner- no one speaks of his fine disposition. When a woman is loud-voiced, dictatorial, and petulant, given to speaking bitter words and doing unkindly things- no person is ever heard saying of her, “What a lovely disposition she has!” She may have excellent qualities, and may do much good- but her ungentleness mars the beauty of her character.”
Being able to display gentleness does not mean that you are not passionate about the things God has laid on your heart. Being gentle does not mean that you’re a doormat upon which others can walk. Even if we display strength, justness, righteousness and strength, but we lack gentleness, life is sadly flawed. In fact, the Bible gives us many glimpses of gentleness being an attribute of God. In the Beatitudes of Matthew 5, Jesus states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. When did Jesus mean by “meek?” If you trace back “meek” to its Greek translation it is translated as “gentle.” Isn’t it ironic that Jesus didn’t say blessed are the bold, strong, or pushy? The more I dive into God’s Word, the more I realize that it is so contradictory to what the world teaches.
When pondering who consistently displayed the characteristic of gentleness, Tom Landry came to mind. My pastor once served on a board with Coach Landry. He had this to say about him, “Tom Landry rarely spoke during our meetings, but when he did everyone would lean in and listen very closely to every word he said.” A biography about his life says that, “In 1959, Tom was a 33-year-old assistant coach for the New York Giants and an off-season insurance salesman. Eventually, he would coach a team of his own – the Dallas Cowboys – and he would lead them to an unprecedented 20 consecutive winning seasons, five Super Bowl appearances and two championships. An impressive record, to say the least. Even more impressive to many of us who watched him, though, was that he did it without raising his voice. Tom was meek in the best sense of the word. He was a reserved man, a soft-spoken man, a man who walked with God as he walked the sidelines. That was evident by his game-time mannerism. Were the Cowboys up by 14 or down by 14? Tom’s demeanor provided no clue. Was it fourth and goal on the opponent’s one yard line or first and ten on their own twenty? Did the Cowboys just fumble away the game? Did the refs just blow a call? Don’t look to Tom’s expression for answers. This now-devout
Christian personified gentleness and self-control”’ Psalm 18:35 declares that, “Your gentleness has made you great.” I believe that it was Tom Landry’s gentleness that made him great!
It is comforting to know that we all have to learn to be gentle (Galatian 5:22). It is not a gift that God simply bestows. It takes work. It takes practice. We will have good days and we will have bad days. As our walk with the Lord deepens, so should our characteristics become a reflection of Him.
Back to the protestors…When we look at them through the eyes of gentleness, we see souls that are lost and hurting. Perhaps they have never received a gentle answer in spite of their anger and wrath. Throughout our days, we never know when someone may need a special touch of tenderness. It is impossible for us to know the secret burdens that others carry. Even those who carry a happy disposition on their face may secretly be carrying hidden griefs. Many people may not be able to explain their need for tenderness, but it is still something they desire.
While we have been called to speak truth we must remember to do it in love! We are called to vigorously pursue the things God has placed upon our hearts, but we are to do all things in a spirit of gentleness. God will give us the game plan. He will open doors of opportunity, and He will allow us to accomplish things for His glory, as we seek Him as an example.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a daughter. However, I do have three sons. I desperately hope and pray that they will be blessed enough to someday find a girl who is gentle, because we know that the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth and value in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:4). May we all rise to the challenge to be gentle in everything we do!
“The Lord’s servant must be gentle towards all.” 2 Timothy 2:24
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. “ 1 Timothy 6:11
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. “ Colossians 3:12