Cultivating a Gentler, Kinder Spirit

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“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.”
(Matthew 5:5)
A meek and gentle spirit is truly the heart of a Christian home. Right about now, you might be thinking,”Meek and gentle? How can I be meek and gentle with kids who are climbing the walls
all day, babies who never sleep, and girls who cry every time they open a Math book–sometimes I just want to scream!”

The mad rush of today’s world can wreak havoc upon emotional health. We get caught up in the list of things awaiting our attention and become anxious, impatient, and short-tempered when we fail to “keep up.”

Committing to three things may help cultivate a gentler, quieter spirit:

• Speak in quieter tones

Sometimes, it seems raising our voices is the only way to get attention. Unless you are a very quiet person by nature, (I am not) it takes conscious effort to train yourself to speak in quieter tones. (We try not to interrupt our friends and speak in ways that are pleasant when having conversations outside the realms of family life.) We can also develop the good habit of kind and gentle speech at home.

• Try not to shout when angry

I learned the folly of this behavior and was personally convicted of a my own need to change, when the following scene took place in my home: We were having “one of those” days. The children just seemed to be getting louder and louder as the hours wore on. I felt as though I couldn’t hear my own thoughts because of the cacophony. I had “politely” instructed them to “tone down their play” to no avail. I threw open the basement door, and as all the little, smiling faces of my children peeked around the wall at the foot of the steps, I screamed:

“I WANT YOU CHILDREN TO STOP ALL OF THAT SCREAMING AND SHOUTING RIGHT NOW!”

Looks of shock, dismay, confusion (and, maybe a hint of sardonic humor?) immediately convicted me. I apologized and they quickly forgave me. We all had a good laugh. I learned a valuable and lasting lesson about shouting in anger.

• Smile often

It is a great gift that costs nothing to give–a full ear-to-ear smile for ten, complete seconds, whenever “crankiness” arises does wonders. It is almost impossible to smile for ten seconds without angry feelings beginning to subside. Facial expressions and are mysteriously connected to the brain. We “feel” the way we hold our faces. A man named Max Planck once said, “Change the way you look at something and what you are looking at will change.” Smiling is like Flint, that when struck against a rock (our family/people around us) a flame (of joy) ignites. Smiling at your children assures them you see them as blessings, not burdens.

What are other commitments you might add to this list to cultivate a spirit of gentleness and kindness in your home?

 

Writer Bio

Judy DudichJudy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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