But when God, our kind and loving Saviour God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it.
The Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu said kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness and kindness in feeling creates love.
The TV and talk show presenter Ellen DeGeneres created a BE KIND BOX for people to buy so they can spread and share kindness. In a world where people experience so much unkindness, people are beginning to recognise that showing kindness is vital to human flourishing. So, how can we let our most important relationship become a place of great kindness?
DISCUSS : What act of kindness do you remember from your partner before you got married that left a good impression on you?
I have not met anyone who says they went out looking particularly for an unkind person to marry. We are attracted to kind and caring people because kindness has a profound impact on our lives.
When someone displays kindness towards us we feel cared for and enabled because most of the time whilst others cannot see what we struggle with in ourselves, we are aware of our shortcomings. So a display of kindness enables us to face life more positively.
THE POWERFUL IMPACT OF KINDNESS
Kindness is a difficult attribute to define, but not to illustrate. We all know when we have experienced it and the impact it has on our outlook. A mum goes to a play group for the first time; it is her first child and she is anxious. At the group other mums talk to her, engage with her daughter and as she leaves she is completely overwhelmed with the kindness she has experienced. At night after her daughter is tucked into bed she recounts what happened to her husband tearfully and he is equally close to tears. At that moment he says to her, ‘I will definitely take time off work in a couple of weeks and we can go to this group together’. Her partner’s kind words and commitment to her wellbeing and the support she received from the group makes her day a memorable one.
It is true that kindness is hard to define but we can definitely tell when we experience an unkind word. In the same scenario as above, the mum is recounting the day she had at the playgroup to her husband tearfully, overwhelmed by the kindness she received and the first thing the husband says is, ‘I hope you didn’t make a fool of yourself crying. It’s dog eat dog out there and if you show any weakness it can affect our child, I don’t want our child growing up and seeing weakness’.
This cold response can be devastating to someone’s well being. The writer of proverbs states ‘Rash language cuts and maims, but there is healing in the words of the wise’. Proverbs 12:18
Most of the time kindness is shown in words and actions. We need to be careful of what we say and the bible challenges how we use words. It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation Matthew 12
Many true words are said in jest and that is why we need to be careful and thoughtful in the ways we use words. So how can we continue to sow the seed of kindness in our marriages and how can you show kindness today?
- Use kind words intentionally in your conversations
- Be appreciative
- Validate your partner’s opinion (if you don’t agree with it, listen to it)
- Think of an act of kindness and do it
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Mother Teresa.
That is great advice to apply, not just to outsiders but also to people we live with.