Did you know that another word for gentleness is meekness? And this word “meek” is greatly misunderstood in our world today…I guess we assume that since it rhymes with weak, then that’s what is means—but that couldn’t be further from the truth!! Let’s learn more about what the Bible has to say on this fruit of the Spirit and why we need it as moms!
If someone used the word meek or gentle to describe you, would you have to think, “Hey, is that really a compliment?”
The world would tell you NO—that it means weak, quiet or unable to stand up for yourself, but I want you to walk away after reading this blog, 100% sure that it absolutely is a compliment to be called gentle or meek! And more than that, it is actually a huge strength for you to have more of this Fruit of the Spirit in your life for motherhood!
Pastor Adrian Rogers said this:
“If you think meekness is weakness, then you try spending a week being meek.”Adrian Rogers
What this mean? Well, The definition of meekness is: “strength under control.” So gentleness and meekness, definitely work alongside the last fruit of the Spirit, self-control, which we will cover next month in October on the blog and podcast.
So if meekness strength under control, then it doesn’t equal weakness at all, like the world seems to indicate…Quite opposite, God’s Word actually says that, “the meek will inherit the earth,” in Matthew 5:5.
Let’s look more into this verse Matthew 5:5:
First things first, Jesus was the perfect picture of meekness and humbleness, and we are called to be more like Him…
We are all born with different drives, personalities, talents, abilities etc. I don’t have to really go into detail here, because you are a mom, just look at your kids and you will quickly see this! You don’t have to teach your child to like science or art, or teach one to make messes and the other one to never get dirty—they just kind of come out that way!
We are no different as adults—I may be outgoing, and you may be more introverted, or I may cringe at the site of blood & needles, while you are a nurse, not just to your kids, but professionally and can give shots all day long! Maybe you are a singer and that is a way you serve the Lord, while I’m much better off speaking, trust me!
The point being: God has wired us ALL differently!
I don’t think any mom in the world, Christian or non-Christian, would argue with me that this is true, but where the difference lies is this: You can either choose to live by the flesh or live by the Spirit…
The world tells us: “LIVE YOUR TRUTH, DO WHAT YOU WANT OR MAKES YOU HAPPY AND DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR IT…”
But to put it bluntly, if I always did what made me happy, I wouldn’t be a very good mom, wife or friend to anyone!
The world says to love and accept everyone, but then it also says do what makes YOU happy and look out for #1…Well, that just contradicts itself!
To truly love our kids and others, we must sacrifice and we must be gentle and meek, realizing it’s NOT always the WISE thing to have the last word or do what makes you and I happy…
Being a mom who seeks to have Meekness and Gentleness in your life, leaves room for wisdom to speak. (Light bulb moment: Suddenly the phrase “quiet strength” makes sense to me now!)
This is why Matthew 5:5 says: "The meek will inherit the earth." Realizing this verse is not speaking about inheriting actual worldly possessions, but instead, has everything to do with living a life of wisdom and obedience that leads to a life of peace, purpose and satisfaction, that only Jesus can bring! Because the wise understand, if left to ourselves, we are headed for destruction, but life in Jesus is FOREVER!
You and I must look to God’s Word for our purpose in motherhood and in ALL areas of our lives…Surrendering our “right” that the world tells us we have, to our own “truth” to come under what God says is absolute and true!
This is not easy do personally, and it’s hard to teach our kids too! Because the devil is working overtime to make everything in this world go against God and the the idea of ONE absolute truth!
I have thought a lot about this, and I think if the devil can get us confused or lacking on these last two fruits of the Spirit—gentleness and self control—he will be the most effective and here is why:
The devil knows that the words “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,” ALL sound good…Therefore, they are harder to confuse and twist for evil, because none of these are not “bad things” even from a non-Biblical-Non-Christian perspective, right?
If the devil can trick us into thinking that meekness means we can’t stand up for ourselves or we have to stay quiet and self control means that we can’t do what WE WANT TO, then those are really the ways to trick us into our downfall of sin to being ineffective as Christians!
Remember: What the world sees as success and happiness, ultimately is rooted in sin and lacking true wisdom…But a life for Jesus and living by the Spirit, which includes learning to have more gentleness and meekness in our lives, will ultimately lead us to live our best life—which is a life not our own—but a life for Jesus…
Let’s look at a mom who did this really well in the Bible:
MARY. The Mother of Jesus. You are likely familiar with her and would never call her a weak woman, right?!
But let’s look at her story, through a modern day perspective:
We have this young woman who is engaged, with her whole life ahead of her (as people often say about us when you’re young and pre-kids!) Then she is told that she is going to have a baby, and not just any baby, but Jesus, the King. And although I’m sure she had a lot of questions, she replied to the angel Gabriel in Matthew 1:38 like this:
“I am the Lord’s servant…Let it be with me, according to your Word.”
As I’ve thought about her response, I could not get over the gentleness and meekness Mary displayed here….long before Jesus was ever born, she was already living this out to teach and prepare Him for how He would live this out on earth…
But what if modern day Mary had said…
“Well what about women’s rights Gabriel…I don’t want to be pregnant…What will people think? I don’t have to do this just because you say…I don’t think this will make me happy…it interrupts MY plans…Should I get an abortion? This makes no sense…”
What if she had done that? What if she had said that?! But she didn’t, PRAISE THE LORD!
Mary exemplified what it meant to be gentle and meek in Spirit, to hold her tongue with control. She had a quiet strength that would ultimately fight to bring our savior Jesus into this world, and the strength it would take to watch Him die for the sins of others…
So, when Bible mentions how she pondered and cherished the moments when Jesus was born, yes, I think it was because she was holding her newborn and had all the feels, but ALSO I think she also had to be pondering on…”WOW! I’m so glad I said yes to God’s plans for my life over my own and kept my mouth shut even when I didn’t understand.” Yes, it was hard and she didn’t always get to do what she wanted….but following God’s plan with gentleness and meekness was so worth it!!
That’s how God works though, right?! the Bible says, “His ways are always higher than ours.”
So when we are meek and gentle like Mary, that isn’t weakness at all! It is the wisdom in knowing that following Jesus is harder sometimes than doing whatever we want, but it is always worth it, and I think Mary knew that!
And we as moms, are not only called to be gentle and meek ourselves, but we are also called to live it out and teach it to our kids…This is something Mary began exemplifying before Jesus was ever born.
Because you and I both know, we don’t have to teach our kids to know what they WANT…they have no trouble learning the word “MINE” as young toddlers, and it only gets harder the more words they learn and the older they get!
The world will tell both us and our kids that they CAN have or DO whatever makes them happy, but this will ultimately lead to their destruction, because if left to our ourselves, none of us, including our kids will choose what is best for them. Moms, we must teach them how to be gentle and meek: to think before speaking, to pray before acting, to make good decisions based on wisdom and knowing right from wrong…ALL based on the absolute truth of God’s Word! AND this doesn’t just happen from taking them to church every week…this takes work!
I really believe it starts in us moms!
When they are little just in the way you are present and care for them can teach them gentleness, and when they are older, the way you verbally respond to the wrong things they do will really matter—because we can be both gentle and quick to discipline at the same time, it just takes wisdom! This is something you and I can’t do on our own without staying rooted in the Word of God to constantly sharpen us and humble us—making us more gentle and meek.
But remember, we will never be perfect like Jesus and we will get this wrong sometimes…I know I got it wrong already this week!! It’s easy to be quick to anger in response to your kids not listening or to feel sorry for yourself because you wanted some “ME” time the week and you didn’t get it…
We are all works in progress—with the overall goal in mind being: LESS OF ME, MORE OF JESUS!
That is true gentleness and what you and I should strive towards to be better moms!
The definition I got for meekness today and several other references came from a devotional called “Walking in the Spirit” from my hosting ministry, Love Worth Finding. If you would like to see a sample of this study CLICK HERE or if you want your own copy of this Bible Study CLICK HERE.
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