The Power of a Gentle Answer

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Have you ever noticed that you get defensive and guarded when someone speaks to you harshly?

 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger

Proverbs 15:1

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This verse has so much meaning in the way we speak to anyone, ourselves included. Empathy and compassion go a long way to being heard and understood.  Today, take notice of the way you speak to others, in your marriage, with friends, and in business. You may find that the snippy cashier softens her tone when you respond kindly. We often forget that the other person may have a lot going on in their lives that we can’t see.

Your children feel the same way about being spoken to harshly, and they will copy that tone in how they respond back or deal with siblings. When one of my boys is upset he will name call or put down another sibling. Of course, that gets the other boys, going and soon there is a huge shouting match going on. For my passionate boys this can escalate very quickly into something physical all because of the slip of the tongue. Helping my boys to work through their misunderstandings and offering empathy towards their hurt feelings goes a long way to deescalate the situation. 

Proverbs 15:4 reminds us that our words can bring life, but can also pierce like the sword in Proverbs 12:18. It is important to guard your tongue. 

It is time to break the cycle. Choose your words carefully and consider your tone. If you notice that someone is speaking to your rudely try responding with kindness and see if that changes their approach. Most often they felt threatened and defensive. Of course, it can be hard not to take things personally and get offended, and you may mess up along the way. But the more often you respond with a gentle answer, the easier it will become. 

Think about how you would want to be spoken to. Your children, I know, will want to be spoken to in the same way. They long for a listening ear and tender words. Now go out into your day and offer that same love, grace, empathy, and enthusiasm to those around you. Be the magnetic force, that amazing person that every one opens up to because they know you will respond in love. 

Taken from Joyful Motherhood: Deepen your connection with God and your children. For more information, Amazon links and a free sample click here


What is God saying to you today?
How is your mood connected to the words you speak?
What are your biggest challenges in offering a gentle response? 
Is there anything about your tone or language God is asking you to change? 
Recall a time you responded gently. How did that feel? Celebrate the gentle loving mother you are.

Bible verses on gentle speech

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:2

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Colossians 4:6

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Matthew 5:1

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness. Proverbs 15:1-2

A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proverbs 21:23

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James 1:19

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