Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. ~ Ephesians 4:32
Day 2: Love is kind
"Kindness is love in action"
Are the people I am usually the least kind to are the very people I should show the most kindness? The people I love. The people who love me. Why?
Am I more likely to speak harshly, or sarcastically, or sharply to The Man of the House than others? Why?
When I meet some one's eye in the store, or a parking lot, or the gym, or at church I usually try to smile. Do I do that when I make eye contact with The Man of the House across the living room or when we pass in the hallway? Why?
The Love Dare states that kindness has four basic core ingredients:
Gentleness: Being careful how you treat your spouse. Being sensitive and tender with his feelings. Not being unnecessarily harsh. This doesn't mean you don't say difficult things when they need to be said, but that you "speak the truth in love".
Helpfulness: Meeting the needs of the moment. Serving your spouse without first worrying about your rights. Stepping up to assure your spouses needs are met - even if that means putting yours on hold for a while.
Willingness: Being flexible. Instead of grumbling and complaining - compromising and accommodating. Listening and being cooperative instead of demanding your own way.
Initiative: Think ahead. Take the first step. Don't wait around to be asked. See the need, meet the need. Greet first. Smile first. Serve first. Forgive first. You shouldn't wait for your spouse to show kindness before you will be kind.
OK.... clearly I have some work to do. I've gone through life, and my marriage, believing I was mostly a kind person. Kind enough...
But is "kind enough" enough? Would I want someone to treat me "kind enough?" If I'm being honest - no, probably not. So why should I expect that to be good enough for The Man of the House? Simple answer: I shouldn't. I love him. More than any other human being in the world. So I should be kinder to him than to any other human being in the world.
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.
The timing was quite helpful to me in this dare. It was a Saturday. One when The Man of the House had to work and then needed to make a trip to the Recycling & Transfer center to discard of all our household trash. Before he got home, I went through the house and bagged up the trash in the small wastebaskets throughout the house (the ones in bathrooms and bedrooms).
So far this whole Love Dare thing felt pretty easy. I can only imagine that it won't always be this simple.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness. ~ Proverbs 19:22a (NAS)