Kindness and gentleness are overlooked and often misunderstood in our society. Be kind and gentle. That’s sort of the mantra in our house. My two girls hear these four words multiple times a day. My baby boy will also be familiar with this short phrase as he gets older. These two “fruits of the Spirit” are so important to me and I want them ingrained in my kids’ character.
I bet you’re like me and desire for your children not only to exude these characteristics but to portray theses fruits as strengths.
My goal is that my children and those around us will not see kindness and gentleness as weaknesses. We are not doormats. I want to teach my children to have a silent strength that comes from the Lord. They need to know that success and happiness do not require meanness or coarseness. God himself is depicted both as Lion and Lamb. Strong and victorious, yet also kind and gentle.God himself is depicted both as Lion and Lamb. Strong and victorious, yet also kind and gentle.Click To Tweet
How do we teach this beyond just reiterating mantras?
I point out examples of kindness in their own actions as well as those around us. Sharing is one of the easiest ways to initially understand the concept of kindness. “That was very kind sharing with your sister!” I proudly exclaim. “Thank you for choosing to let your sister play with that toy.” Is a phrase I hope will encourage similar actions.
Of course, kindness goes beyond sharing.
It’s a selflessness that helps and encourages in a sincere way. My husband is in the military and at least once a year he has a trip of some sort. A clear memory of authentic friendship and kindness was last summer. During a two week trip, I told my friend Jenn that I was concerned about the night time routine with my two older kids. On the second day alone she declared, “Tonight I am coming over at bedtime to help the girls brush their teethies and read them some bedtime books.” And she quickly added, “If that’s okay?” I smiled and gushed, “Yes!” She even sent me a picture of her “lived in” living room to make sure I didn’t try to clean the house for her before she came over to be a blessing to me. After Jenn left I told my girls, “That was a very kind thing for Miss Jenn to do.” And they wholeheartedly agreed!
Jenn is one of the moms in my local MOPS group. Now, without a doubt, Jenn’s kind actions are a natural part of her sweet character. It is also something our group has been growing. Our little mom community is like a garden of kindness. We intentionally cultivate a welcoming environment. And we make it a priority to use kind, uplifting words. Kindness is non-judgmental and a source of encouragement. In our MOPS community, we make it a priority to make meals when a mom has a new baby, a surgery, or some other reason she may need a little extra help.
From my own experience, this nurturing garden is not only life-giving and transforming but life-saving.
This is just one small instance I will be eternally thankful for these amazing women in my life.
Check back next week for a powerful story of how my mom community came to my rescue this summer!
What do you do to cultivate kindness and gentleness?
I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below!
Sharing is Caring!