Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dare 2

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
Good morning! Fortunately for me, my patience was not tested yesterday, so I passed yesterday's love dare with flying colors:) It is so much better to be off to a good start than quickly falling behind. However, I will continue yesterday's along with this new one...after all, it could not hurt to practice patience. And I do love my husband so much, which is enough reason to hold my tongue and not say anything negative...come what may.
For today, I am dared to focus on kindness--which is love in action. "If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance." Friends, I must say I love being positive. And the fact that Zane and I were drawn towards each other and began to fall in love the more we were kind to one another causes me to wonder if we could fall even deeper in love with more kindness being portrayed? If love makes you be kind, then how is it that so many marriages become drastically unkind? I believe that at some moment in a marriage, one or both people become self-serving (I say 'become self-serving,' assuming that at the beginning of a marriage, spouses are so wrapped up in each other, almost every action is geared towards making the other more comfortable, and feel loved.) It doesn't help that society preaches independence and that one can only count on themselves. I believe that one of the reasons I am so secure in my marriage is that I recognize my independence was changed into something more beautiful when I said "I do." Now I have the opportunity to share my life, my ideas, my insecurities, my private moments, with someone who is in this as much as me. And if I am self-serving, and neglect the intimacy that can be realized through caring for one another, then yes, my marriage will be unkind, and lack love.
Kindness encompasses 'four basic core ingredients:' 1)Gentleness--being sensitive, tender, speaking the truth in love. 2) Helpfulness--meeting needs. "Kindness graces a wife with the ability to serve her husband without worrying about her rights. Kindness makes a husband curious to discover what his wife needs, then motivates him to be the one who steps up and ensures those needs are met, even if his are put on hold." 3)Willingness--being agreeable, cooperative, flexible. Compromise. Accomodate. I am not going to pretend any of those are easy. I have the willingness to bend to my will. But it is so terribly difficult for me to compromise--and that is a must in a marriage. 4)Initiative--kindness thinks ahead then takes the first step. (This is great...I can treat this like a competition! And win, because I am way more competitive than my dear husband. He is terrified I will be that soccer mom that all the other parents despise because I yell at the ref...or worse, the kids on the opposing team. Fortunately I have plenty of time to work on my sportsmanship!) A kind husband or wife greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. Not conditionally. Not when it is easy. Even when it is hard, the kind one extends the hand first.
I wonder how Zane would rate me on the 'kindness meter?' In Proverbs 31:6, a woman's husband and children bless and praise her because of her noble attributes, saying "She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." I bet her mouth opens in wisdom because she is patient and seeks kind words rather than reacting negatively. I would love for God to mold me into a woman likened to the Proverbs 31 woman. But, I must pray for patience as He molds me into the woman He created me to be.
Todays Dare: Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
Previous Dare(s): Be patient.

--Inspired by The Love Dare.

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