He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great. (Psalm 18:34-35)
It’s a beautiful, warm Saturday morning, and the soccer fields are jammed with little kids swarming around a soccer ball trying to make headway—one way or another. Surrounding the field are the onlookers: parents, family, friends; yelling and jumping, waving and screaming, urging the tide to turn toward one goal or the other.
But as I watched less and listened more, I heard some voices—which I thought were enthusiastic—but were actually more angry. And other voices I thought were encouraging, were demanding. Now here are these precious little ones learning cooperation and coordination, following directions and team play. Meanwhile highly invested and motivated parents have moved from building up to tearing down in their verbal and visual salvos.
So what does all this have to do with King David? This part of Psalm 18 has to do with David going into battle, and I’ve always found it intriguing that it was the LORD’s gentleness that made him great in battle. You see, gentleness has nothing to do with tactics. It has everything to do with character. And if you want your child to be great in the classroom or the war room, the board room or the court room, it’s their character that will make them great.
We all want our kids to be great, but that means loving them, and living out before them the character of Christ. Things like gentleness and humility are not typically sought out, but consider there two passages:
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought:£ Christ was truly God. But he did not try to remain equal with God. Instead he gave up everything and became a slave, when he became like one of us. Christ was humble. He obeyed God and even died on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)
Have you ever thought that were it not for Christ’s humility, you’d still be stuck in your sins?
Of course being humble and gentle like Christ is going to have more that an impact on your kids. It will change your life.
Usually it takes as much time to find a song that speaks to what I have written about, as it does to write it. But God laid this song on my heart by Steven Curtis Chapman, and it goes far beyond the point of yelling at your kids (or your wife, or your husband). What if that anger was the last thing that was said, that was seen, and then you lost them?
Whatever field your on with your child, celebrate their successes, encourage them in the failures. Be gentle. Love them with the love of Christ.