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The Teaching of Kindness

The Teaching of Kindness

The kitchen looked like a war zone because it had been. I stopped inside the doorway, my baby astride my hip, while I took in the collateral damage. I’d only left a few minutes earlier to pick up the crying baby from his nap, but in a few short diaper-changing moments, all mayhem broke loose. Subterfuge, scurries, and whispers halted. A silence aptly defined as “pregnant” filled the room with expectancy. Three pairs of innocent blue eyes looked at me in bewilderment, as if the carrots had flown alone, misguided missiles from an unknown origin.

Hands quieted in their laps. Only a twitch of the cheek and an under-the-table kick gave any indication of guilt. A green pea slowly rolled to the edge of the table and dropped to the floor.

Oh, dear mamas, the author of the book of James knew very well what he was talking about when he said “…no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8; ESV.

At that moment with guilt as thick as the peanut butter and jelly on my little girls’ faces, James could have been describing my tongue.

You may have heard the example of a bumped glass of water. Does it spill because it gets bumped or because there is water inside?

A mama’s glass is full. It gets bumped and jostled all day long.

Proverbs 31: 26 gives us a surprising biblical character trait of a strong woman with a gentle tongue.

“…the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (ESV)

Kindness often isn’t the first thing from my lips when my nerves are fraught, and my patience is tried. Yet, Scripture does not make exceptions for decibel shattering cries, piles of laundry, or spilled milk. It understands moms. God’s Word assures us we can’t react with kindness by human effort alone. In fact, kindness is listed in Galatians 5:22 as a fruit of God’s Spirit in us.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23; ESV

We need God’s Spirit to fill our glass. And then we need His Spirit to re-fill our glass again and again.

If I want the right stuff splashing onto my family, I need to be putting the right stuff inside my cup.

Because it gets empty, I need to replenish with time at Jesus’ feet.

Because it gets tainted, I need to clean it, with the cleansing of the Word.

Because it gets contaminated, I need to empty it of me, so He can fill me more with Himself.

“…the teaching of kindness is on her tongue”

Kindness is a much better teacher for our children than its opposite. If I am pouring in God’s immeasurable kindness toward me, if His character is filling my soul, I can overflow with the fruits of His Spirit, and not the dregs of my weary humanity.

What spills out of your glass?

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.


  1. The best teaching comes from example Ms. Sylvia. Like you perhaps. I haven’t always provided the best example for others to follow. Still, God is a patient teacher and He works patiently on me to develop the various spiritual fruit and gifts He intends for me to have. I’m so glad to see He completed the task in your life ma’am. God’s blessings.

    • Thanks J.D. I find I often lack kindness, and need to grow in this. It is so truly a fruit of the Spirit, because I just can’t seem to muster it up! As always, I appreciate your comment.

  2. Kindness. What a great reminder.

  3. This took me back to a time when my three children were still small and there was never a dull moment in our household. Sometimes I would lose it with them, and as harried as those days sometimes were, they are my most cherished memories today.

    Great post!

  4. Yes, well… kindness along with all those other fruit of the Spirit are needed in such instances. Great imagery!
    I enjoyed your post and am well reminded that we need to teach and exemplify kindness.
    Meanwhile, as exhausting as it is, I’m sure you’re enjoying your little ones.

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