Teaching children how to be gentle in words, actions and thoughts is imperative so that they can reach out to others in love.
What do you think of when you hear the word “gentleness?”
Our children answered this in all different ways:
- Like a warm blanket.
- Like snow. (I’m assuming powdery snow and not a rock hard snowball!)
I think of my 3 year old son, putting his hand on my cheek, ever so softly, then caressing it down to my chin. He usually does this when he is trying to get something he wants. Sometimes, he does it to show me affection and love. It’s the sweetest thing ever! Reading over this month’s Family Time Training Activity called “Gentleness”, I couldn’t help but think about my son’s actions and wanting that same gentleness to take root in all of our family’s hearts so that we can reach more people for Christ.
Christ was bold, courageous and gentle!
Those descriptions do not always flow together well in our modern day minds. However, we see that it is possible to live this out. It is one of many things we are called to be. We are called to be strong and courageous but also have the Fruit of the Spirit:
(This is a fun song to help your kids remember all the fruits of the spirit.)
How do we see gentleness, boldness, and courage in Jesus’ life?
There are many instances, where Jesus is bold, but at the same time seems to display gentleness in his thoughts, words and deeds.
- In speaking to the woman at the well, Jesus calls her to confront her current reality while sharing with her a hope she has never known and showing her a better way.
- When facing the soldiers who came to arrest him with swords drawn, Jesus told them he was the man they were looking for, then after Peter cut off Marcus’ ear, Jesus gently picked it up and healed him.
- When dealing with large crowds of people wanting to be healed, he took time to meet their needs.
The Family Time Training Bible Activity
Gentleness isn’t instinctive. It’s definitely something that our children will not learn from this social media enraged age. It’s one of those traits that the Spirit really has to help us hone (well, maybe some more than others) and remind us of constantly.
Do you remember once your children started to move how often you would say be gentle? Whether it was their excitement at trying to pet a dog and nearly slapping the poor thing to death, or a toddler trying to hug a younger sibling but accidentally putting the younger in a choke hold, the reminder of being gentle seems to constantly be escaping our lips.
What age is this activity for & a Tip!
This activity is great for kids of all ages including moms & dads!
If you are thinking “I don’t have time for an extra devotional activity”, I’ll share a tip. Read the devotional part together over dinner and then do the activity after a quick clean up. Paper plates aid in clean up time and the kids move faster when they know there is a fun activity coming.
Gentle in Thoughts, Words, & Deeds
Many times, we relate being gentle to our actions that’s why I appreciate how the Family Time Training devotional activity relates it to our thoughts and words as well!
Our whole family had so much fun with this activity! It was hilarious, frustrating and gave us PLENTY of opportunity to practice being gentle with each other and the paper ball. (Get it while it’s free during the month of March. If you’re reading this after, March click on the previous link to find the current month’s free devotional activity.)
It took us a little while to figure out that we couldn’t forcefully blow the paper ball into the jar because it causes them to jump out!
My gang is pretty competitive. We have been working for a while on not getting upset when we don’t do something perfectly the first time. After reading through the activities and seeing that the first part of the activity was designed to be impossible to accomplish, I warned them that even if they get frustrated to do their best to maintain gentleness and self-control. We had to remind them a couple of times but overall, they did a great job.
The second part of the activity, which is blowing a paper ball into a pop bottle or in our case a glass jar, is possible but it’s all in the approach. Can you guess what kind of approach we must take? A gentle one!
Gentle blows work best, but we also learned that sometimes a more forceful blow depending on the angle will work as well. In the end, it’s all in the approach and as long as we are approaching each situation in a loving way, that we ourselves would appreciate, then we will be displaying gentleness and the fruit of the Spirit.
Prayer over our heart
Lord, you say whatever we ask in your name you will give us. We simply ask today that you will help us to let gentleness take root in our hearts. It’s much easier said than done. Instead of letting anger and our frustrations overcome us, help us to breathe and remember that gentleness draws people in instead of pushing them away. Help us to become more like you and grow into your shinning lights. In learning gentleness, we will be able to reach more people for you. In the One who was bold and gentle at the same time – Amen!