A story is told about the North Wind and the Sun. I seems that each claimed to have the greater power over mortals and a dispute arose.
“I am much stronger, ” said the North Wind. I blow and blow and can even cause great oak trees to tumble to the ground. Surely I have a greater power over man.”
“Indeed not,” said the Sun, “for without my warmth, a man would surely die! Consider the oak tree. Without me it would not grow to be so tall.”
And so it was that the two decided to try their powers upon an unknowing traveler, deciding to see which of them could soonest strip him of his cloak. The North wind furiously blew down upon the man, and caught up his cloak, believing he could wrestle it from him in one single gust. But is was soon apparent that the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped himself up in the garment.
The Sun then said, “I shall try my hand at this venture.” So he looked down upon the traveler and beamed his light ever so gently upon him. Eventually, the man unclapsed his coat as it drapped over his shoulders. The sun then shone down with his full strength, and before he had gone much further down the road, had taken off his cloak so he could complete his journey.
And so it is with raising our children. How much greater influence we have over them and the choices they make if we gently bring warmth and love to them, persuading them of what is good and true rather than beating down upon them, causing them to hold on ever more tightly to their own desires.
“Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me so my feet did not slip.” Psalm 18:35-36