04 Aug The “Gentleness” Fruit
FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT CHALLENGE
The “Gentleness” Fruit
In Galatians 5:16, the word of God tells us to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh. In a couple of verses further down, we learn that the fruit of the Spirit is; Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance ~ Galatians 5:22-23.
Ladies, we could all stand to show a little more gentleness and not only towards our husbands, but towards everyone that we encounter. Have you every misjudged or condemned someone? I’m sure we have all been found guilty in this area. But instead of making someone feel low, discrediting them, or hitting below the belt Jesus desires for us to show gentleness.
There are tons of bible stories wherein that Jesus demonstrate gentleness but my absolute favorite one is about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Let’s take a closer look…
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst~ John 8:1-9
Ladies, I can tell you that when I first read this story, I was literally in tears and then I had to re-read the story. This was the story that set me free of feeling any type of condemnation by man when I was unfaithful to my husband. I couldn’t believe Jesus’s response to the adulterous woman nor to the scribes and Pharisees. He didn’t utter a word to them or the adulterous woman at first. He didn’t allow himself to become distracted. But instead He just stooped down and begin to write on the ground as if He didn’t even hear the accusers. Then He finally rose up and asked them to cast a stone if they were without sin. Jesus not only showed gentleness towards the adulterous woman but He even showed it to her accusers. And of course Jesus was left standing because He was the only one without sin. The woman wasn’t standing beside Him but she was sitting off to the side.
Just as Jesus showed gentleness to the adulterous woman, we are to show our husbands gentleness even when we are upset with them may have every reason to throw a stone. Because this is the will of God. Sure, we can chew them out and tell them how we really feel but what good will that do? As godly wives we must practice giving a soft answer. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger ~Proverbs 15:1. And if you cannot give a soft answer right away, then just give a short answer to avoid saying something that you will regret and have to go back and repent for later. You have to come into the knowledge of it just being about you and your relationship with God because your husband is not going to be with you at the judgement seat. This is why we have to stay at His feet and be so hidden in Him that evil cannot find us. God will remove your bitterness or resentment and replace it with His love and gentleness.
I can remember a time when it was so hard for me to demonstrate gentleness to my mother in law. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t mean to her but I just didn’t want to be around her. I was trying to love her from a distance. My husband is the only child and she treated him like he was still a child. When we first got married it was a struggle for her to let him go. She would literally call on him to do every little thing. And on top of that she was still cooking for him and sending plates home and I was so annoyed! It got on my last nerve and to be honest I think that I was a little jealous. My poor husband was trying to figure it all out and learn how to deal with her in a respectful way. But truth be told, some of this was my fault. I was not cooking for my husband like I should have been doing. I started resenting her and I didn’t go in her house a lot and I would just sit in the car and try to find someone to call on the phone while he went in to say a quick hello. Then one day there was some miscommunication and I ended up having a heated fellowship with her. I didn’t raise my voice at her but I did let her know how I felt about some things and I didn’t hold back. Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him with a spirit of gentleness. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted ~ Matthew 18:15. I had allowed something that was said to me cause me to respond by clapping back instead of showing gentleness. My husband walked in on our disagreement and took my side. My mother in law and I didn’t talk for a while after that our dispute. I could tell that my husband was bothered in his spirit that there was no peace between us.
I asked God if it was okay for me to love her from a distance. But the Holy Spirit convicted me as I thought about how I would feel if God started loving me from a distance so I had answered my own question. About 2 months went by and then God spoke to me in a dream. He told me that I needed to apologize. I knew that I had to make peace even though I didn’t agree with what she had said. So, I called her one day and I apologized for my behavior and the part that I played in our heated fellowship. She was glad to hear from me. And although she did not apologize for her behavior, I was still thankful that I was obedient to the voice of God and showed gentleness. I started going back over to her house and I would always pray before I went inside that I will show her genuine love because I wanted to represent Christ. I wanted it to be real and I wanted to past the test of gentleness. My husband was so surprised at my behavior and it ended up bringing us closer together. I realized that I could be in the same situation one day when my son grows up and get married so I wanted to make amends. Not only that I realized that we only have one mother and we better shower them with love every chance that we get. I didn’t want my husband to secretly harbor resentment in his heart for not getting along with my mother in law. It was important for him and it became important to me as well. Now I am able to show her gentleness and truly mean it!
If you are having a hard time showing gentleness to your husband, a family member, coworker, or someone from your past I pull on your heartstrings to ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Remember that He is your keeper. He will do it for the heart that is willing. Don’t be so quick to throw stones at your accusers and do not allow bitterness to build up even for those who mistreat you or those who you may have ought against. But instead allow the Holy Spirit to teach you how to past the tests and how to grow the fruit of gentleness on your tree.