This morning I heard this…
“It takes bravery to be a tender person (who doesn’t attempt to hide it or push it away.)“
So I thought about it…
I suppose that’s true…
…because to the world, “tenderness” can seem like a sign of “weakness”…
…and to be okay with “appearing weak” or “too soft”…and to be “vulnerable” to the world, and not caring about how it appears, and to “be tender” anyway—one must be brave.
It takes courage to embrace tenderness.
Tenderness takes courage.
“Tenderness” is defined as “gentleness and kindness” and it also can be described as,
“softness, emotion, sentiment, care, concern, warmth, compassion, soft-heartedness, tenderheartedness, rawness, affection, fondness, love, devotion”
It takes vulnerability to embrace tenderness. It takes bravery to embrace tenderness.
And the truth is, a tender heart can easily feel pain.
Is it more courageous to be willing to feel pain, and to be healed and kept by our Heavenly Father, than to develop a “heart of stone” that never “risks” feeling a thing?
I suppose some may lean more toward the “heart of stone” option because it “feels safer” than to be vulnerable and appear soft or weak. But is it really worth it?
Have you ever tried to hide your quivering lip, you just know the tears are going to come, and you so desperately want to hide all of that because you don’t want others to think you’re silly or weak? Yep. *raises hand*
I am so guilty of trying to hide “tenderness” —I’ve tried to run from it. I have tried to avoid it. I have tried to hide it.
I’m not really good at hiding it, but I know that many times I find myself trying to hide it.
But what would happen if instead of running from tenderness and the sensitivity… what would happen if I embraced it, and let it be exposed?
What would happen if I let God take control and use it —if I decided not to be afraid of it? If I decided to allow Him to fully take the reins.
Me and God are working on that. ?Oh, the lessons He takes me though! ?
“Thus says the Lord God, “I will also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I will pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain.” —Ezekiel 17:22
“For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.” —Isaiah 53:2
“Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us…” —Luke 1:78
The Word says that He draws us with His lovingkindness—He reveals His tenderness towards us, and that draws us towards Him.
Think about it… God puts Himself out there to tell us how much He cares for us. He knows we have the choice whether to come to Him, and to love Him back, or to not.
Jesus was tenderhearted. He didn’t try to hide it…
“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.'” —Jeremiah 31:3
“When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept.
So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!'”—John 11:33-36
God wants us to be brave enough to be tenderhearted, and He’s ready to help us with that…
Because He can do something with a tender heart…. He can do something with our willingness to be vulnerable, and to be real.
Can He really use a heart of stone? Can He really use a tender heart who just hides itself away?
“To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit…”—1 Peter 3:8
“So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience…”—Colossians 1:8
Thank You Jesus, for your example of tenderness, by so beautifully showing it towards us. ?Lord, help me to not be afraid of being tender, help me not to want to automatically run away from it or hide it. The truth is, You can use a tender heart far more than You can use a hardened heart, or one that decides to run and hide for fear of what man may think. Thank You for revealing Your beautiful heart to us.