Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32
On day one of the Love Dare I focused on making a special effort not to try Barbara's patience. Since she had the harder part of the challenge I wanted to make it easier for her. I believe it is easier for me to be patient toward her than it is for her to be patient toward me.
And sure enough, there was one instance that happened beyond my control but I know it bothered her. But she exercised patience and I noticed. This morning I thanked her for it.
That brings us to the challenge for today - kindness.
Patience tends to be a reactive thing. Something you do may require me to respond with patience.
But kindness is proactive. I can be kind to you first! I can initiate the action. Patience may consist of something I choose not to do, but kindness is always expressed through action.
Kindness, like patience is associated with the Fruits of the Spirit. Each is a manifestation of God's Spirit at work through me. Kindness causes me to do something good for your good. The root word for kindness is closely associated with the words for grace and for unconditional love. Kindness acts for the good of another regardless of how that person may act toward me.
My mother always taught me to "kill them with kindness". Obviously, kindness has no fatal consequences nor would it associated with such actions. But the truth is contained in this verse would literally agree with this expression. When you choose to be kind no matter how others treat you, your constant and continual kindness will trump their unkind acts. Therefore, kindness "kills" the negative impact of their unkindness.
Today, you can be kind no matter what. You can treat your spouse kindly and be committed to her good in all you do. Kindness expresses your love and commitment to your spouse.
Let kindness guide your actions and decisions to day - but also do something especially kind to bring out the best in your spouse and assure her of your love!