“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5)

The meek will win the world! Doesn’t that sound ridiculous. We all know that it is the high-energy, powerful promoter, the big wheeler-dealer who gets ahead in life. The meek get stepped on, walked over, and bypassed. But Jesus promises a blessing to the meek and gentle. And how does this apply to our family. How can meekness bless our family?

You need to understand what the word meekness means and how it was used in Bible days. To Aristotle, one of the great philosophers 4 centuries before Jesus, the quality of life was always defined as the middle between too much and too little of a virtue. For example using money, if too much is a big spender and too little is a miser, the middle ground is the supreme virtue – a generous man. To Aristotle, the supreme virtue between too much anger and too little anger was meekness. The Greek word was also used to describe medicine, too much will kill you, too little won’t do anything – just right heals you. It was also used to describe a gentle breeze, a domesticated horse. It was power under control. Meekness is the ability to control your emotions.

Emotions are powerful and can destroy a family, especially anger. So let’s talk about anger in the family. What are some ways anger manifests itself in a family?

  • Physical violence. According to CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their partner at some point during their lifetime. At least 8 million acts of domestic violence occur annually.
  • Verbal violence. This includes yelling, put-downs, threats – it can range from bullying to manipulative mind games. Wounds can accompany emotional abuse just like physical abuse. Victims begin to believe the words. And because it leaves no bruises or broken bones, they don’t take it seriously.
  • Passive-aggressive behavior. This kind of behavior is sneaky. It includes a quiet bitterness and hostility that cannot be easily recognized. A person may have a cynical, pessimistic, or aggressive demeanor and does what they can to cause anger in another person.
  • Repressed anger. This often stems from home where showing emotion led to being silently ostracized. This can lead a person to stuff their anger. This leads to tension that builds up and can result in either a blow up or physical symptoms like headaches, body tension, anxiety and a multitude of stomach problems. 
  • Substitute anger. This is a situation when a person is angry at one person, but shows that anger to someone else. The problem is that the family members get the blunt of misplaced anger.

“Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, or at the right time, for the right purpose, in the right way – this is not easy.”    – Aristotle

So how can we be meek? The first thing a person must do is receive Jesus Christ as personal Savior. Jesus was known as a meek and gentle person, who seldom got angry. When He did, it was with the right people, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, in the right way. When you have Jesus living with you, you will learn to become like Him – meek and gentle.

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29)

For those who have Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, how can we display meekness? How can we be gentle?

Watch your words.

Gentleness is often expressed through the words we speak. One simple act of gentleness that will bless our home can be to speak to others with soothing, caring words. Have you noticed how touchy most people seem? Think about most of the situation comedies that are on TV now. Most of them use put-down humor to get laughs. Put-down humor is one person insulting another or in some way putting another down. This is the simplest form of humor for TV writers to come up with, but it is also the most destructive type of humor. It strips others of their self-respect and proper love for themselves.

Open your Eyes

Showing meekness is being aware of those around us and the thoughtfulness we can express to them. Most of us naturally tend to be concerned about our responsibilities, our problems, our plans. Gentle people are sensitive to others’ needs. Gentle people look for opportunities to encourage others. Gentile people look for opportunities to be gentle.

Do Kindness Now.

We do not consider someone gentle simply because they don’t do harsh things. Rather, we regard people as gentle because they go out of their way, often quietly and without fanfare, to engage in tender actions. Gentleness is the willingness to do the simple things to help other people. It doesn’t have to be big. Jesus said, if we give a cup of cold water simply because we noticed somebody was thirsty, it counts in Heaven. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “You can never do a kindness to son, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

A little girl found a turtle in her yard one day but could not get it to come out of its shell. Her grandpa watched for a while as the girl tried everything she could to coax the turtle out. Finally he said, “If you put him out in ths sun, he’ll warm up after awhile and come out all by himself.” Then, as almost an afterthought he added, “People are sorta’ like turtles. Never try to force a fellow into anything. Just warm him up with a little human kindness and more’n likely he’ll come your way.”