7/26/13

tenderness & gentleness: final thoughts


I hope that this week's topic of tenderness and gentleness has made you think. Whilst looking at my own life I see the scraping away of vulnerability by the world and pray that I can reclaim that tenderness in my heart.


I want to leave you with a few quotes on the subject that have helped me realize the importance of gentleness. 

Darling Magazine, a wonderful resource in cultivating a godly feminine heart, writes this as their manifesto: "Darling is a catalyst for positive change; leading women to discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation. Darling leads women to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modesty and wisdom---all the while creating beauty and embodying love."
 

This description is of the woman we are all made to be. But we live in a world of sin, chaos and evil that wants us to become the opposite of a beautiful, feminine, tender woman.


Zooey Deschanel speaks perfectly to what all women must do in a world that longs to take away our gentleness: "Being tender and open is beautiful. As a woman I feel continually shhh'ed. Too sensitive. Too mushy. Too wishy washy. Blah blah. Don't let someone steal your tenderness. Don't allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to be truly affected by things."


And so, my dears, let your heart be open. Let your actions be full of tenderness. Allow yourself to be genuine and cultivate vulnerability. Without such openness community cannot thrive.


I will end it with the description of tenderness given by Brennan Manning in his book The Wisdom of Tenderness: "In the experience of warm, caring, affectionate relationships, the heart grows tender. Tenderness doesn’t make us more productive; it isn’t task-oriented, managerial, or manipulative; it doesn’t make us more efficient and doesn’t function as a self-help tool to enhance success in the social and financial spheres. The way of tenderness affects our manner of being in the world rather than our manner of doing in the world. It leads to a gentle presence to ourselves, to others, and to God." 

What has God been teaching you about tenderness and gentleness this past week? How important do you think it is that we cultivate it in our lives? Do you long to be the woman described by Darling Magazine? Do you agree with Zooey Deschanel that being open is beautiful? 

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