Gentleness Through the Generations

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Who in your life models gentleness? My mother, Lena, set an example of gentleness and passed it on to generations that followed her.

Lena gave birth to her third son in a Russian hospital while her husband was in prison for preaching the gospel. They escaped to America in 1931, and raised a large family during the Depression. In her lifetime, she buried three children and lost others to miscarriage. Although she could have become harsh, stern, and bitter, she didn’t. Hard times made her strong, not hard. How blessed we were to have a mother and grandmother who displayed gentleness!

Lena’s granddaughter Joan said, “Grandma was warm, soft, and cuddly. I always wanted to sit next to her and put my head on her shoulder. I felt loved and secure when I was with her. She made me cuddly things–quilts and soft stuffed animals. I still snuggle in the childhood quilt she made me. It reminds me of my sweet, gentle Grandma’s love.” It probably won’t surprise you that Joan named her firstborn Lena.

Granddaughter Ann remembers, “If a grandchild found an injured bird, Grandma Lena got an eyedropper and taught the child how to feed the baby bird. Grandma couldn’t let anyone suffer or hurt. There was always enough love and gentleness where Grandma was.”

Even if we don’t have earthly role models of gentleness, we have Jesus to follow, who “gently leads those that have young” (Isaiah 40:11). And He is described as gentle in the New Testament. “See, your king comes to you, gentle, and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5).

As we follow Jesus’ example, we ourselves can become role models of gentleness for our children and grandchildren.

Father, I long to reflect the gentleness of Jesus. With Your help, I want these words to describe me: mild, tender, gracious, kind, even-tempered, balanced, tranquil, reasonable, forbearing, fair and considerate, willing to pardon, and able to rule my spirit well. Please help me follow in the gentle footsteps of Jesus. Let the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart be pleasing to You–because they are graced with gentleness. (Based on Psalm 19:14.)


Lydia Harris, known as Grandma Tea, enjoys sweet times with her five grand-darlings ages two to teen. This devotion is adapted from “Prepare to Model a Godly Life,” in Lydia’s Bible study for grandparents, Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting. The book can be ordered through bookstores or online at and

throwback thursday

We’re throwing back Thursday with a blast-from-the-past post and you can join in too! Link one of your favorite oldie-but-goodie homemaking posts from your blog with us every Thursday. Throughout June we’ll throwback on a different topic each week. Go ahead, dust those links off and let’s throwback!

Reading God’s Story Schedule today, 6/21/13: 1 Kings 20-21.

6/22/13: 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18-20.

6/23/13: 2 Kings 1-4.

Join hosts Page and Cindy on Facebook where we are discussing today’s reading. Everyone is invited to join by clicking the ‘Join Group’ button. We have 590+ women reading the Bible through together! Join us and invite your friends too!

About Lydia Harris

Lydia E. Harris is happily married to Milt, her sweetheart for 48 years. She has two married children, five grandkids, and is the author of a Bible study, "Preparing My Heart for Grandparenting" (AMG Publishers, 2010 release). She's also a tea enthusiast and writes the column "A Cup of Tea with Lydia."

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  1. J McClenny says:

    As a mom with three college-aged children home for the summer, I appreciate the prayer you included in your article! Thank you!