Learning to Love Well

Gentleness Isn't Weakness

Love is gentle.

Gentleness may be one of the most misunderstood attributes of love. Most people equate gentleness with weakness and assume that loving others means being subservient to them. They believe that loving someone means allowing them to dominate you. Love, however, is not weak. It takes a great deal of strength to love well.

Gentleness is what is exhibited when you create space for others to be whoever they are without fear of reprisal or domination. Gentleness doesn’t demand its own way and its own timing. Gentleness believes that a person is more than what they are able to accomplish. So, how can you develop gentleness in your character if you don’t feel that you have it? Here are a couple of ideas:

Gentleness creates space for the people you love.

To be gentle is to understand that everyone is different, and that those differences are good. Creating space for others means that you allow them to disagree without battling over every detail. If there is an issue that needs to be dealt with, gentleness understands that we all function better when given grace rather than condemnation. It allows others to be imperfect, just like us.

Gentleness has an opinion, it just understands that everyone else does as well.

Gentleness is honest, but not overbearing. We all have opinions that we believe are right. If we didn’t believe they were right, we wouldn’t have those opinions. That makes it tough when we encounter someone who sees things differently from us. Gentleness isn’t afraid to share what it thinks, but it’s quick to listen as well. Forcing your thoughts on others will end in one of two ways: either they will submit to you and quit being honest, or they will pull away from you entirely.

Gentleness is developed over time. Our society tends to favor the forceful. So, it takes some time to get used to choosing to be gentle. It takes practice to show kindness to others instead of just pushing for what we want. Relationships are not about winning, they are about love. Gentleness will allow your relationships to grow stronger over time, and will allow you to grow as well.

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