Keep a Tender Heart

This world is such a harsh place at times, isn’t it?

That is why it is so important to keep a tender heart.

Social Media is cruel … people’s expectations are exacting … and the news is tormenting.

Oh! How I long to keep a tender heart.

Tongues are vicious … events are alarming … and politics are confusing.

That is precisely why you and I should keep a tender heart.

A tender heart is a heart that God can work with … a tender heart knows the joy of loving beyond measure. A truly tender heart is well-acquainted with the benefits of caring beyond reason.

A tender heart doesn’t deny the truth but lives in a town by the name of “Mercy”.

A tender heart is a warm, caring and honest heart.

A tender heart is a heart that understands that life is hard but longs to offer a helping hand, a heartfelt hug and unconditional love in spite of differing opinions.

A tender heart listens and never demands.

A tender heart is not a weak heart … but it is a heart that perseveres when someone is in pain.

If you are a parent, cultivate a tender heart in your children.  Teach them to care for the needs of others. Please don’t minimize or ignore the deep feelings of the little people under your charge. I know that it is important to train children not to whine … but when they are feeling the depth of compassion for a person or an event … allow them to feel.

When a mom or a dad refuses to allow a child to express valid emotions in a healthy manner, not only will the little heart become hard … but so will the parental heart. Parents … keep a tender heart toward your children.  Listen to their tears … give them an opportunity to ventilate … and then embrace their sweet little frames.  When the intense time of emotion has passed, spend some valuable time coaching the child how to express pain, how to deal with emotions and how to banish disappointment in a healthy manner.

Stifling the feelings that are in a tender heart is never a healthy choice. A tender heart goes to the pinnacle and to the plunge of compassion and chooses to linger there when others move on.

A tender heart has cultivated Godly and appropriate responses to life. When you discover a friend with a tender heart, you have also found a tongue that blesses, a mind that understands and actions that are solely kind. 

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:32

When a heart is soft and tender, it is a heart that forgives quickly.  When a person decides to remain tender rather than become hard and unfeeling, the person with the tender heart is exhibiting the characteristics of God the Father and of Jesus the Son.

What an amazing possibility that is!  To be like Jesus in the harsh, severe and cold world in which we live!

You know, we are not all “wired” alike, are we? Some of us are able to contain our emotions in a heroic manner while others among us seem to sob, giggle and exaggerate our way through life.

Perhaps there is a healthy balance to which we all need to aspire and it is called having a tender heart.

A tender heart is aware of the needs of others and lovingly understands pain.

A tender heart cares less about self and more about the joy that a sacrifice might deliver to a friend’s life.

A tender heart looks to God for leadership and is always ready to walk beside a person who is going through a valley.

However, a tender heart doesn’t allow a loved one to remain in that valley of despair, in the swamp of discouragement or in the desert of self-pity. A tender heart lovingly, gently and powerfully leads a comrade toward the health that is found in on the mountaintop of hope.

Mount Hope is a powerful place from which to view life! And, you will find, that every sweaty climber who reaches that zenith point has a heart that is beating wildly yet tenderly.

Unfortunately, the rugged pathway to Mount Hope is littered with the excuses of those who refuse to care … who are immune to generosity … and who choose to judge rather than understand.

Predictably, the furrowed route that leads a weary traveler to the crest where hope reigns is filled with the empty opinions of hard-hearted travelers who never learned the value of tenderness.

Opinions harden a heart … so do unrealistic expectations. Refusing to care for a fellow traveler and ignoring the power of forgiveness will cause a heart to crack with brittle crevices.

A tender heart is a healthy heart because it is a reflection of the heart of Jesus. It is a virtue, indeed, that we all must choose while living in the traumatic conditions of earth.

I am praying for you today … as you endeavor to keep a tender heart.

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!