“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”

Psalm 18:35 Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

II Corinthians 10:1a Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ…

I Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.

Philippians 4:5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

II Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

MEMORY VERSE: But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. —James 3:17

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The gentleness and kindness of God, given through our Savior, Jesus Christ, is manifested by the servants of Christ in word and deed, through the Holy Spirit working in them, to the benefit and nourishment of all to whom they minister, which includes the members of their own families.


Psalm 18:35 “Gentleness”: meekness; merciful kindness; mildness, clemency, favor. The word has a sense of royalty, or someone in a position to rule, who, instead of being harsh and dictatorial, is mild-mannered and extends favor.

Isaiah 40:11 “Gently lead”: lead on to a place of rest or a watering station; journey in stages; lead softly.

II Corinthians 10:1 “Gentleness”: considerateness, fairness; true equity; mildness; forbearance; justice beyond justice. “Sweet reasonableness” (Matthew Arnold) “that knows when to “relax the strict legal requirements concerning others . . . to carry out the real spirit of the law” (G. R. Berry; HELPS Word Studies). In Acts 24:4 the word is translated clemency: (“1. Mildness of temper; gentleness or lenity of disposition; disposition to treat with favor and kindness. (2. Mercy; disposition to treat with lenity, to forgive or to spare, as offenders; tenderness in punishing; opposed to severity, harshness, or rigor” (Webster).

I Thessalonians 2:7 and II Timothy 2:24 “Gentle”: affable; mild; speaking calming words which bring God’s order to a situation (HELPS Word Studies). “Applied to external appearance, affable denotes that combination of features, which invites to conversation, and renders a person accessible, opposed to a forbidding aspect; mild; benign; as, an affable
countenance” (Webster). “Cherisheth”: brood over; foster.

Philippians 4:5 “Moderation”: seemly; equitable; yielding. “Gentle in the sense of truly fair by relaxing overly strict standards in order to keep the ‘spirit of the law’” (HELPS Word Studies). This is a slightly different form of the word in Acts 24:4 and II Corinthians 10:1. It is translated moderation in Philippians 4:5; patient in I Timothy 3:3; and gentle in Titus 3:2, James 3:17 and I Peter 2:18. “It means in effect considerateness, the attitude of thought and will which in remembrance of others forgets self, and willingly yields up the purely personal claims of self. The “self-less” man is the “moderate” man of this passage; the man who is yielding as air in respect of personal feeling or interest, though firm as a rock in respect of moral principle” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges). “Let your moderation be known; exercising an even temper of mind, in governing the sensual appetite, with modesty, patience, and gentleness, in opposition to all impetuousness and inordinacy of affections, yea, to all excess and exorbitances in words and actions” (Matthew Poole’s Commentary).

Titus 3:2 “No brawler”: not a fighter; uncontentious; peaceable.

Titus 3:3 “Divers”: diverse; various.

Titus 3:6 “Abundantly”: richly; copiously.


In the Word Definitions, we get a good picture of gentleness; how it defines God’s manner toward mankind, how it was portrayed by the New Testament apostles toward all people—Jews and Gentiles alike—and how followers of Jesus ought to manifest it themselves.

David stated the important truth that it was God’s gentleness that made him great; it made him prosper and grow. This is the same idea Isaiah brings out when he speaks of Christ as a tender Shepherd. The ewes carrying unborn young present a word picture of someone who needs utmost care, thoughtfulness, protection, and gentle treatment. Remember how Jacob refused to push his family caravan beyond the limits of the mothers and little children? Jesus is just that solicitous over us. He doesn’t drive or push us.

Paul cited the meekness and gentleness of Jesus Christ Himself as the motive or basis from which he made a strong personal appeal to the Corinthians. In his letter to the Thessalonians, he called them to give witness to the treatment he and the other apostles had given them.

In Paul’s letters to the Philippians, Timothy, and Titus, he admonishes them, as servants of Christ, to be just that tender, caring and mild-mannered in their ministry. Especially to those who “opposed themselves,” they were to use gentleness. To Titus, he again points to Jesus Christ as the one who treated us, who once were foolish and disobedient, with kindness (gentleness) and mercy.

When I keep my memory keen as to how much I needed “justice beyond justice” and how in mercy he saved me and generously and copiously poured out His Spirit upon me, I can better show my spouse, my children, and my neighbors that “sweet reasonableness” that goes beyond the letter of the law and extends the spirit of the law, which is the peace and prosperity of all.

There are extreme ways of managing a home. We can be so legalistic and domineering that we drive our children away from God altogether. We can be so permissive our children have no compass, no guidelines, no direction. We can be uninvolved. A young man sadly shared with me, “My mother just ‘checked out’ of mothering before we were even raised.”

God ordained there should be order and guidance in the home. The husband is to be under Christ’s authority; he is to follow and obey Him. This puts him in the proper position to be the authority for his wife. She is to revere and yield to him as he yields to Christ. The children then are to be governed in this same way. The wife is to open “her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26). The words of a wise man are “gracious” (Ecclesiastes 10:12). The discipline of the home should pattern after God’s law, which He said was for the well-being of his people. The beautiful fruit of gentleness makes this a reality.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. Keeping in mind the spirit and intent of God’s law for us, share how important gentleness is in the rule and management of the home.
  2. What did David say was the result of the gentleness God had shown him?
  3. Give your thoughts about the picture Isaiah gives us of Christ as the gentle shepherd.
  4. What are we to remember when we deal with those who are unsaved? How does that affect our tone of voice and manner of spirit?
  5. Give synonyms of the word gentleness.
  6. Share how the definition of gentle in I Thessalonians 2:7 and II Timothy 2:24 can help us understand how to deal with a spouse or child.


Learning proper etiquette and good social manners is what helps make little boys and girls grow into gentlemen and gentle women. As parents, part of our responsibility is to teach these manners to our children. One day when our daughter was just learning to talk, she was sitting in her highchair at the table and let out a burp. Her father asked her, “What do you say?” She leaned her head to the side and with a smile said, “Thank you!” As time progresses children quickly learn the difference between “thank you” and “excuse me.” We teach them the importance of respect, of sharing, of learning to solve differences with their siblings, and the skills needed to get along with people in school, in the workplace, and especially in the home. We teach our children the value of a soft answer turning away wrath.

There is a gentleness that is of far greater value than mere social manners. It comes as a fruit of the spirit. It is not just a head knowledge, but it reveals itself as we yield our hearts to God and let His Spirit make us into His likeness. Rules are concerned about actions—the externals. True spirituality is concerned about the attitudes of the heart and the actions that are a product of a heart softened by the spirit of God. These fruits are of inestimable value in the success of our marriages and family life.

By God’s grace we are enabled to bear and forbear, to behave with courage in adversity, and to not take advantage of a situation or discussion even if we are right. We will have a readiness to forgive injuries, recognizing that when we err or make a mistake is the time we will feel our greatest need of someone else manifesting gentleness toward us. Gentleness is not weakness but having strength under control.

—Bro. Clifford and Sis. Patsy Smith, Keizer, Oregon

Married June 8, 1968