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Thursday, January 10, 2013
What is the best kind of kindness?
We’ve been talking about your new wardrobe for 2013. New clothes for the new you!
No, not pants, shirts and skirts. We are talking about the actions and attitudes that God calls us to “put on” in Colossians 3 in light of our new nature in Christ.
It just so happens that it is a great list of things to wear for your marriage!
You have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with…kindnessHow to Put on Kindness
Col 3:9-12 (NIV)
Do me a favor. Think to yourself. What are the first five or so words that come to your mind when you think of kindness? Go ahead, take the ten seconds you need to do this.
Now, think again. (I know I’m asking a lot of you to make you think twice in a single blog post). Think of your daily interactions with your husband or wife. What are the five (or so) words that best describe how you engage with your spouse?
Now compare these two lists of words. Find any similarities?
In case you are stuck (or lazy) here are some dictionary words to consider:
- giving pleasure or relief
What I’m trying to get you to think about is whether kindness is part of the daily routine in your marriage. Is it?
You see, the best kind of kindness is the kind you wear daily.
My challenge to you is to deliberately do something kind every day for your husband or wife. Each day, think of at least one act of kindness (action or spoken) you can do for your spouse. Plan it and do it. If it helps, scan through my dictionary list above or write down your own list. It will help give you ideas.
Hint: I especially like that last idea. Each day, simply think of something that would give your spouse pleasure or relief/help. (PS for men: there is such a thing as pleasure that doesn’t involve sex!)
Here are a few examples of little kindnesses to get you thinking (there I go again with the thinking - strike three).
- Bring them a cup of tea or coffee while they are getting ready for their day.
- Offer a short neck or foot rub while you are watching TV together
- Prepare their favorite meal (even if it isn’t your favorite)
- Stop in and get their favorite treat or snack next time you get gas
- Lend an unprompted hand with a daily chore (dishes, dinner, laundry, yard work, kid’s bath or bedtime).
- Ask before you leave for work, “How can I pray for you today?” (then do it!)
- Pay a specific, honest compliment to one of the physical feature you most admire about them (or their chosen outfit or perfume/cologne).
You may be reluctant to give kindness to your spouse because they don’t typically give it back. To you, let me say that the more kindness you give, the more likely you are to see it in return. It’s a reaping and sewing thing. Withholding kindness will reap more unkindness. But regular acts of kindness will change the atmosphere of your marriage. It is the best way to produce more kindness.
So, are you ready to commit to daily kindness?
Let’s hear it! What is the last kind thing (big or small) that your spouse did for you? What is the last kind thing you did for your spouse? Leave a comment.
photo credit: yeko / 123rf.com
Next in the series: Put on Compassion
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