Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Day 2: Love is Kind

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.----Ephesians 4:32
Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many of the other attributes we will discuss are built.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on a tablet on your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man
Proverbs 3:3-4
4 basic core ingredients to kindness:
Gentleness. When you're operating from kindness, you're careful how you treat your spouse, never being unnecessarily harsh. You are sensitive. Tender. Even if you need to say hard things, you'll bend over backwards to make your rebuke or challenge as easy to hear as possible. You speak the truth in love.
Helpfulness. Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. If it's housework, you get busy. A listening ear? You give it. Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights. Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met---even if his are put on hold.
Willingness. Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible. Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate. A kind husband ends thousands of potential arguments by his willingness to listen first rather than demand his way.
Initiative. Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. It doesn't sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch. The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don't require the other to get his or her act together before showing love. When acting from kindness, you see the need, then make your move. First.
*** I love these 4 parts of kindness and how each one of us can relate to at least one of them, if not all. Willingness really hit home for me. I feel like the book was directly talking to me. Willingness is one thing I struggle with in our marriage and in my relationships, period. I am stubborn, but the more I can be agreeable and flexible, I think it will make me a better and kinder person all around.
Did any of the 4 really make you think about how you could change and be more kind?
Today's Dare
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
How did you do yesterday if you are taking on the dare? Zach and I really don't disagree much, so it wasn't too difficult for me. But, it did make me think before I spoke. I usually don't do this. But I am sure over the next 40 days, even the next 40 years, there will be a time when I can fully apply Patience to our marriage (I am not that niave). I just hope when that time arrives and every time it is present, I apply patience and I listen quickly but I am slow to speak.

1 comment:

Candace said...

If you keep this up - I won't have to buy the book (I probably still will).

Best wishes and tons of prayers your way on the big move and job for both of you!