In Episode 7 of Season 3, Desireé unpacks the sometimes-overlooked fruit of gentleness. She uses this episode to illustrate that the same God of the mountain is the same God of the valley – and he is our gentle protector. In this episode we unpack gentleness in our marriages, as parents and in all of the other roles we have.
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Ciao and welcome to Life out loud. I am your host Desireé Melfi Bozzo. We are going to use this space to share experiences and help you find lasting unshakable unwavering unmessable-with joy and gratitude. We're going to be throwing around encouragement, a little bit like confetti and giving you support to live your very best life. Ciao Friends! Welcome to episode seven of season three of the life out loud podcast. I am your host as always Desireé Melfi Bozzo. Thank you for being here with me in this space. Your time is your greatest commodity and I'm grateful that you're spending it with me. This season we are making our way through the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians five in the Bible. If you've hung around the season, you probably know that the Fruits of the Spirit and how much of them we are bearing, or not, are a good barometer in our life. If you aren't familiar with them, as always head back to the first episode of this season and take a quick listen to get caught up. Galatians five tells us that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Today finds us almost to the end of that list, talking about gentleness. At first glance, you might have kind of maybe turned your nose up at this fruit, and if I can be honest in the safe space, I definitely absolutely did. And then I started learning about gentleness and was like, oh, I need this in my life. I need like all of this in my life. I thought gentleness was about being weak and maybe even kind of a pushover. My thinking was if you're gentle, then you're probably kind of weak and like do you even lift bro? It sounds terrible to say out loud, but that's where my brain went, okay? Sometimes it's messy in there. You're welcome for that glimpse into my psyche. The more I studied gentleness though, the more I understood that it is the fruit of being kind and tender and mild mannered. See why I said Oh, right? In a world that prides itself on strength and power and ruthless success, the fruit of gentleness may seem out of date and maybe even a little out of touch. As I began to dig deeper, my eyes were opened to the depth and the beauty of the truth of gentleness. And I want to share some of that with you today so that hopefully you can cultivate this fruit in your life. True gentleness comes from a controlled strength and really a complete humility. My most favorite picture of this rests in First Kings. It’s the story of when the Lord appeared to Elijah. Now, I want to give you a little bit of backstory on Elijah to really get how powerful this story is. So Elijah was a prophet in northern Israel during the reign of King Ahab. Commentary on his life tells us that he was both decisive and bold, and also fearful and tentative. One commentary that I love says “Elijah knew both the power of God and the depths of depression.” Whoa, right? Like, whoa! How many of us have been to the mountaintop only to descend into that slippery slope of the valley? Elijah had, and that's why I love this example, so much. It's relatable. In chapter 19, we find Elijah he's on the run and fleeing. He had just seen the power of God in the two chapters before. And then we find him, begging the Lord to take his life because he had had enough. The word of the Lord found Elijah in the cave, and the Lord tells him go stand on the mountain, I'm coming by. Right like this, the story the way this unfold blows my mind. Like here, this man literally was on a like mountaintop moment in his life. He had seen the power of God move. And then he's like, God, take my life. I can't do this anymore. Right? So thankfully as the Lord does, he shows up. So Elijah goes out, a massive wind came and tore the mountains apart. The Lord wasn't there. There was an earthquake. The Lord wasn't there. 1 Kings19:
12 blows my mind, “after the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, a gentle whisper.” God's very nature is the heart of gentleness. His strength is powerful enough to destroy mountains, make the earth quake and start fires. And yet for us, his beloved he comes as a gentle whisper. The same God of the mountain is the same God of the valley, and He will protect us anywhere. He will find us anywhere and keep us. Gentleness isn't weakness, but an all loving, peaceful, Grace filled protection. So now that we see the power of the fruit of gentleness, how do we know that we can actually attain it in our day to day life? Well, it's attainable I think, because Jesus showed us it was time and time again. He showed gentleness in instances where he could have showed anger, rejection, frustration, all emotions that would have been much easier to show than gentleness. In John eight we find Jesus teaching in the temple courts. The Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They were ready to put her to death by stoning her because that's what the law said to do. In verse seven, Jesus replies, “let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw the stone at her.” And then it happens. They began to walk away, one at a time, until only Jesus and the woman were left. When I read this verse, I heard stones fall from their hands into the dirt. I heard the silence that hung heavy in the air. I heard their sandals against the dirt is they walked away feeling that conviction heavy on their heart. I see the woman. I see her so broken. I see her so in need of a Savior. In verse 10, Jesus asks her “Woman, where are there now? Has no one condemned you?” “No one sir.” She said. Jesus declared, “Then neither do I condemn you go now and leave your life of sin.” There are so many responses Jesus could have had to this woman and her situation. He could have ridiculed her. He could have let them put her to death because it would have been okay in that time. But he didn't. Our sweet Savior chose to deal with her gently and in love. He embodied the very essence of gentleness, my friends. In Matthew 11:28, teaching and preaching in the towns of Galilee, Jesus offers an invitation and it wasn't just to the people at the time. It's an invitation to us all. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” My sweet listeners, I don't know about you, but I could use some of that. In the very next verse, He tells us to learn from him because he is gentle and humble in heart. What a beautiful rest this offers our souls. We get the rest our weary bodies and minds desire through the gentleness of Jesus that is offered to us today. Friends, we are called to be gentle. For a generation that is one of the most divided and disconnected in human history, Gentleness in this world can be really, really hard to come by. So where do we even begin? I truly believe that it begins in our homes for each and every one of us. If you're married, it starts by being gentle in your marriage. Wives, respecting your husbands and husbands loving your wives. When it is deserved, when it is undeserved, and all of it in between. I've been with my husband for 20 years. That's two decades. My friends that's a really really long time. I can confidently say being gentle isn't the easiest thing sometimes for either of us. We're human and we know exactly how to push each other's buttons in a way that drives the other one absolutely bananas. That being said, we've been married long enough to know that when we lead with gentleness in all circumstances. Oh man, life is incredible. Happiness is palpable. And what we can accomplish side by side fortifies our family for generations. Ladies, our men can be rough with hard exteriors, but at the heart of our men, is the need for gentleness, in our words, in our touch in our actions, as wives, we must lift them up at every pass. In doing so we are helping them become unstoppable forces for good in this world. I promise you! After we start being gentle in our marriages, gentleness in our home continues by being gentle as parents, shepherding our children and raising them for Jesus. Gentle in the ways we speak in our homes, no matter how hard and stressful our days.Proverbs 15:
4 says “a gentle word is a tree of life, but a harsh tongue crushes the spirit.” I'm talking to the women out there - as Mama’s, it's our job to set the temperature in our homes. We have the power to infuse gentleness at the very core of the people Jesus has charged us to care for. If we can achieve this, they can go out in this world empowered and share that gentleness with the world. We as moms and wives have the power to create a tidal wave of gentleness that reaches further than we could ever imagine. Gentleness continues outside our homes, when we're in this world with each other. The way we conduct our day to day lives should bear the fruit of gentleness. This includes our co-workers, our friends, extended family, random people we engage with. We are called to be gentle with all of them just like Jesus was. Now I can imagine what some of you might be thinking this is real cute Dez, but it's not that easy. Friends, I'm not saying any of this is easy. And as a matter of fact, it's hard to be gentle. I can promise you. If you know me, this is no surprise. Gentleness is not my first go to. I love I love living on relentlessness. I love it. ruthlessness, relentlessness going hard at all times. I have to work a gentleness because there are days and moments when it's super hard. But you know what? It's cool because we can do hard things. I don't believe we are as different as our social media algorithms like to portray we are. We can be patient with each other. We can show empathy for each other. We can speak respectfully even if we don't agree. We can seek peace among all of our relationships. When we show up in a gentle way, we create space for good fruit to grow and for relationships to flourish. Cultivating the fruit of gentleness my sweet listeners, it's a choice. And guess what? The choice is yours. I hope you enjoyed episode seven of season three. We're almost to the end. I hope you are encouraged to let gentleness bloom in your life. Send me a message and let me know what profound changes start to occur when you leverage this fruit in your days. Join me next time for the very last episode of season three. We will throw more encouragement around like confetti. But be careful if you get too close. You just might get some on you and remember friends there is always always always something to be thankful for. Ciao! Thank you for joining me, Desireé Melfi Bozzo for this episode of Life out loud. I would love to hear from you. Leave me a comment. Tell me what topics you want to talk about and how you take your coffee. If you enjoyed what you heard, text a friend the link share it on social media or if you're interested in becoming a supporter, be-bop over to my webpage life out loud.me and sponsor a cup of coffee that keeps this podcast fueled. Until next time sweet listeners!