Part 2 – “Igniting the Fire in Your Marriage: Kindness” (Click here if you missed Part 1 on passion)
I believe that for the most part I am a kind and considerate person. It gives me great pleasure to encourage others, lend a helping hand, and do small favors for my friends when I am able to. I’m friendly in my interactions, and I try to be understanding when asked to provide a listening ear. I know how important these actions and words can be in any thriving relationship, yet I find myself guilty of a major faux pas:
I extend great kindness outside my home, yet sometimes I am neglectful when it comes to cultivating that kindness with my husband.
Hmph. That’s no good!
Don’t get me wrong. My darling hubby isn’t living with a cruel and unfeeling monster (right honey ;)), but I admit that I don’t always consider his needs and feelings as much as I know I should.
I’ll give you an example:
Just last night my husband asked me to help him with his resume. He is in a very focused place in terms of reaching his goals, and I’m so proud of him! I knew that this act of kindness would mean the world to him, and I should have been happy that he was valuing my knowledge in this area and coming to me for support. This is how I should have felt, but it wasn’t. The reality is simple. I didn’t feel like doing it! I agreed to assist him, but I know he picked up on my hesitance. It didn’t lead to any bickering or an argument, but my reaction couldn’t have done anything positive to help our communication; or his self-esteem.
To add insult to injury, our women’s ministry has an outreach program in which I present workshops on Interview skills and resume-building! I do this very thing for perfect strangers, and you’ll never see me huff and puff and roll my eyes with the clients I help. I’m infinitely patient with them and their requests, so why am I giving my spouse such a hard time? As my best friend, and closest confidante, shouldn’t he be receiving the very best of me?!
Even though he didn’t seem too bothered my reaction (grace!), I still wanted to cancel out any bad feelings I may’ve stirred up. I thanked him for coming to me and gave him a big bear hug as I built him up with reassuring words.
Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
Far too often we take advantage of the people closest to us. (GUILTY!) We take advantage of the fact that these men are our husbands, and that they’ll still love us the same in the morning. Yes, they should bear with us and our imperfections as we do the same for them, but we are fooling ourselves if we think our lack of kindness isn’t negatively affecting our marriage! God doesn’t make it complicated and neither should we.
1 Corinthians 13:4a (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind;
Perhaps you could be more positive and lose the attitude when helping your husband.
Maybe tonight you’ll give him an extra hug or a kiss.
You could even set aside a coupon for his favorite cookies, and get them for him on a day you know he needs an extra pick-me-up. I recently did this and the smile I received was priceless! (See, I told you I wasn’t all bad. :))
I hope that by now the wheels are turning and you’re thinking of ways to be more kind today. No matter what you choose to do, and whether it’s in the little things or the grand gestures, kindness matters!!
Week 2 Challenge:
Ignite the fire of kindness in your home this week. Be intentional about showing your husband kindness this week. Plan a date just for him, treat him to his favorite meal, honor him with your words, and make him feel incredibly special.
Are you interested in participating in this challenge and igniting the fire in your marriage? It’s not too late! Click here for more details.
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