“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” – St. Francis de Sales
If we’re honest, most of us would have to admit that gentleness isn’t high on the list of manly qualities we hope to possess. We want to be tough, we want to be strong, we want to be resilient—we want to be anything but gentle. Gentleness seems, well, too sensitive and too feminine for most men.
I want to challenge that notion. Yes, real men are rough and tough when they need to be, but they also have the capacity to be gentle.
Gentleness Comes from Strength
Gentleness is strength under control. If you’ve ever been to a gym to work out, you know there are tough-guy wannabes who pick up more weight than they can handle, and then throw it down noisily when they are done lifting. I guess they think everyone will be impressed by how much noise they make.
Then there are the really strong men, the guys who look something like the Hulk. They don’t make much noise. They pick up 300 pounds carefully, do their reps, and then set the weight down just as carefully. Why? Because they possess real strength, which gives them incredible control. Any wimp can drop something. It takes real strength to set a great weight down gently.
Be Strong, Be Gentle
Don’t be the wannabe man who has to make a lot of noise to impress people. Be the man who possesses quiet strength—strength under control.
Of course, for most men, this doesn’t come naturally. It is something we need to cultivate. Make the choice to practice gentleness in your relationships with your family and friends. Control your emotions and be patient with others. It will take time and effort, but it will pay off.
Don’t be a bull in a china cabinet. The next time you want to make a show of strength, be a gentle-man.
Do you know any real men who are both strong and gentle? Have you thought about gentleness as a manly trait before? Leave your thoughts in the comments.