“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” ~ Galatians 5:22 NIV
As Christians, all of us have the Holy Spirit of Christ living in us and His power available to us. If we are fully surrendered to Him, there should be evidence of it, and one of the most obvious signs is the presence of the fruit of the Spirit. Last month, we talked about the fruit of PATIENCE being evident in our marriages. This month we’re looking at KINDNESS.
Kindness is more than being polite, or nice– it’s going out of your way to grant favor, help, or bless someone. The Bible has a lot to say about kindness.
Romans 11:22– we are called to continue in His kindness.
Titus 3:4-5 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us…
Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Sounds a bit like the Fruits of the Spirit!)
I like the idea of being “tenderhearted” in the New Living Translation: Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
And ladies, Titus 2:5 calls us to kindness right before submission to our husbands, and we are told to act this way so we won’t give God a bad name!. …be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Showing Kindness to Your Spouse
We all know what kindness is. How do we show it to our spouses? I think showing kindness might be like speaking their love language, different for each person. You can always ASK what’s a good way, but sometimes spouses (okay, WIVES) feel like if she has to tell you, it doesn’t count! Here are some practical ideas. Try them and take note of the response! (Thanks to my Facebook friends sharing how their spouses show kindness to them.)
From the male perspective–
- [My wife] is a fantastic cook, and I really appreciate coming home to a great dinner!
- [My wife] is very appreciative of me; I love when I come home from work and she’s excited to see me and runs to the door to greet me. Also, the little things she does for me are very kind (the small thoughtful things like buying something I would like while she’s grocery shopping, even if it’s something she wouldn’t usually buy or want to buy).
And from the girls–
- My husband is such a kind person – he shows me constant kindness being a servant in our home and outside of it! Specifically, in the home he gets me whatever I need or want, and will ask me if he can do anything for me.
- The other night we were having a fight (heavy disagreement discussion – short phrase ‘fight’) of sorts. We just couldn’t see eye to eye. We had to end it so we could go to sleep… The next morning I had to play piano at church and go early. He got up – even though things weren’t fully resolved – made me coffee and helped me get out the door. He could have stayed mad at me (since I *was* being rather disagreeable). That is not only kind, it is noble.
- My husband shows kindness to me by being patient with my shortcomings, extremely helpful with house/baby when he knows I am tired/sick/or stressed, and always thanking me for what I do. What a great guy!
- My husband makes my favorite breakfast on Saturdays and brings it to me in bed, he cleans the kitchen when I cook, he helps with the household chores when my schedule gets busy, he washes and maintains my car, he grocery shops when I cannot without complaining, and he prays for me!
- Picks up the kids from school and makes sure homework is done and fixes dinner on the nights I work so I can sleep.
- My spouse passed away nearly 5 years ago but he showed kindness by making sure my vehicle had gas, good wipers, etc. He also was willing to go out for meals when I was tired or felt bad.
- He brings me little gifts that make my life better, because he pays attention. That is the greatest kindness, in my opinion.
(And from Auntie Em) My husband is very mechanically minded and handy, unlike me! He is always doing things that would be difficult for me, if I could do them at all, like hanging pictures. He indulges my hobbies like gardening by mowing and bagging mulch, even at houses other than ours, so we’ll have a huge stockpile. He built a serious trellis with treated lumber and cattle panel. He buys me jewelry. He takes me to my favorite Mexican restaurant even though he doesn’t like Mexican food that much. Oftentimes he will ask what he can do for me or what I need from him. He hung a bright neon string from the garage ceiling so I’ll know how far to pull the car in, and put up party lights around our porch, AND set them up on a timer so they come on automatically. In addition to making our coffee, he gets out my cup and all the accouterments that I use every day. He attends my choir’s concerts and photographs and videos them. When one of us is away overnight he often leaves a card or my favorite candy under my pillow or in my suitcase. (Hot Tamales!)
Showing intentional kindness to our spouses is a good way to build up the love tank to overflowing. What kindness can you show to your spouse today?