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The Love Dare: Day 2

  • Day 2

    Love is Kind

     Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

    Kindness 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. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many of the other attributes we will discuss are built.

    Love makes you kind. And kindness makes you likeable. When you’re kind, people want to be around you. They see you as being good to them and good for them.

    The Bible keys in on the importance of kindness: “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man” (Proverbs 3:3–4). Kind people simply find favor wherever they go. Even at home. But “kindness” can feel a little generic when you try defining it, much less living it. So let’s break kindness down into four basic core ingredients:

    Gentleness. When you’re operating from kindness, you’re careful how you treat your spouse, never being unnecessarily harsh. You’re sensitive. Tender. Even if you need to say hard things, you’ll bend over backwards to make your rebuke or challenge as easy to hear as possible. You speak the truth in love.

    Helpfulness. Being kind means you meet the needs of the moment. If it’s housework, you get busy. A listening ear? You give it. 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.

    Willingness. Kindness inspires you to be agreeable. Instead of being obstinate, reluctant, or stubborn, you cooperate, you stay flexible. Rather than complaining and making excuses, you look for reasons to compromise and accommodate. A kind husband ends thousands of potential arguments by his willingness to listen first rather than demand his way.

    Initiative. Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. It doesn’t sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch. The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don’t require the other to get his or her act together before showing love. When acting from kindness, you see the need, then make your move. First.

    Jesus creatively described the kindness of love in His parable of the Good Samaritan, found in the Bible—Luke, chapter 10. A Jewish man attacked by robbers is left for dead on a remote road. Two religious leaders, respected among their people, walk by without choosing to stop. Too busy. Too important. Too fond of clean hands. But a common man of another race—the hated Samaritans, whose dislike for the Jews was both bitter and mutual—sees this stranger in need and is moved with compassion. Crossing all cultural boundaries and risking ridicule, he stops to help the man. Bandaging his wounds and putting him on his own donkey, he carries him to safety and pays all his medical expenses out of his own pocket.

    Where years of racism had caused strife and division, one act of kindness brought two enemies together. Gently. Helpfully. Willingly. Taking the initiative, this man demonstrated true kindness in every way.

    Wasn’t kindness one of the key things that drew you and your spouse together in the first place? When you married, weren’t you expecting to enjoy his or her kindness for the rest of your life? Didn’t your mate feel the same way about you? Even though the years can take the edge off that desire, your enjoyment in marriage is still linked to the daily level of kindness expressed.

    The Bible describes a woman whose husband and children bless and praise her. Among her noble attributes are these: “She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26). How about you? How would your husband or wife describe you on the kindness meter? How harsh are you? How gentle and helpful? Do you wait to be asked, or do you take the initiative to help? Don’t wait for your spouse to be kind first.

    It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.

    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.  

     

    What is desirable in a man is his kindness. (Proverbs 19:22)

     Click here to buy a copy of the Love Dare book.

      

    If you have not seen the movie Fireproof, then you probably should. It will help you get into the spirit of it and inspire you. You can watch it right here at RHM for free:

    Watch the Fireproof Movie for free

     

    Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.

     

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15 comments
  • 3
Janet Clary
Janet Clary Kindness provides the layer of our life that we all have trouble with.  Being kind shares the part of your character make up that many may not understand.  It took me sometime in my life to give my self permission to be kind whenever I want to and to who I wanted to.    If anyone has ever been married to an alcoholic or addict, kindness is often the last word and human act remembered.  Even family members or a parent that ridiculies you, I have found it hard to show kindness to and with unconitonal devotion. I have to remind myself that kindness knows no limits, boundaries, time or even moments.  God tells us so often in the bible to "Turn the other cheek";  while this is difficult to do, I find that giving, meaning kindness, surpasses all negative and shameful moments in our lives. For me to give and offer kindness allows me to let others know that this is a part of who I am.  May the Lord bless each of us with more kindness today and always,  Janet
February 2, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Janet! We heard in church one time about love. Our pastor said that the word "love" can have so many connotations to people that it's difficult to talk about sometimes, but that people understand what "kindness" means, so he discussed God's love in that way. Life would not be much without it.
February 2, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Beautiful, Sylvia, the comparison was awesome. What a great way to express love, through kindness, when many don't know how to truly love because of hurts from their past. 
February 3, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 2
Dion Todd
Dion Todd True!
February 2, 2016
  • 2
Carol Pady
Carol Pady Amen! 
February 2, 2016
  • 2
Mark Duell
Mark Duell Amen.  
February 3, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen, that is awesome, God bless you with much love and kindness from everyone you meet. Love you bunches.
February 3, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 3
Mark Duell
Mark Duell This is a daily act not just a once in awhile thing. Again it's what true love is.
February 3, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd That is very true, Mark! The idea is to build these habits for a lifetime!
February 3, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Awesome
February 3, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen
February 3, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 2
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member My husband surprised me yesterday, with leaving work early and picking me up at home and taking me out for a wonderful lunch date. It was so nice just to have that one on one time together. I love him so much.
February 3, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 1
Mark Duell
Mark Duell Cool. Hope you had a great time.
February 3, 2016
  • 2
Audry Reddy
Audry Reddy As I was reading this, it sounded so familiar, but I took thye words to heart. After reading I checked to see what day dare it was and I discovered it was Day 2 dare. But I figured , God must want me to pay attention to this!
February 10, 2016
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd That's very possible, Audrey! Sorry about that though, here is the link to day 10 :-): http://www.refreshinghope.org/blogs/5/610/the-love-dare-day-10
February 10, 2016