Gentle Answers

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:1

This is one of our family verses. We are working hard to keep the tone in our home gentle and encouraging, even in the midst of discipline (not always easy!) because God’s Word is truth and it applies to both our children and to us as parents.

But it’s not easy. It’s not easy to keep a gentle tone when one squirms on the floor refusing to put on his shoes when the others are late for school. It’s not easy on the fifth warning to quiet down and go to sleep. It’s not easy in the midst of temper tantrums and tears.

But who said parenting was easy?

So much is at stake.

Their whole outlook on life, how they grow up and treat others, how they relate to people in authority, and what they believe about God will be shaped in these early years at home with us. There is too much at stake to miss the target God has given us.

Strength comes from God. He will give me what I need to parent in wisdom, gentleness and love. I know that. I believe it. What scares me is that I also know myself – my tendency to move ahead of Him, to try it on my own strength first, rush into my day full of my own plans.

So this is me, putting it out there publicly so you can hold me accountable, or maybe we can hold each other accountable. I am praying for gentleness in all conversations.

I cannot control the choices my children make. They are ultimately accountable to God. But I can control how I speak to them, what I teach them, and the example I set. For this, I am accountable to God.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. (Philippians 4:5a)”

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