What particular characteristic of Jesus is most absent from the marriages of your friends?

This past week while leading a  bible study I asked a group of young couples’ the question: What particular characteristic of Jesus Christ is most absent from the marriages of your friends? Lots of ideas were suggested. Right out of the gate one person mentioned humility. Pride truly is spiritual cancer that eats up the possibility to truly loving another. I proposed kindness. Kindness (the Greek word is chrestos) is part of the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in the life of a Christian (Galatians 5:22). It represents the profound vulnerability that stems from a deep security.

One of Jesus’ ultimate acts of  kindness was when he prayed for those who were his executioners. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” In marriage, kindness not only involves a willingness to forgive but an overall readiness to enhance the life of your spouse because of your own deep inner security that comes from the Lord’s favor and approval.

I see so many couples today that are extremely competitive with one another. They are unable to rejoice in the successes of the other. Kindness enables you to give space for the uniqueness of your spouse and not try to change them to be more like you.

This character quality involves a self-control based on a living faith in God’s providence.  It is above petty resentment and revenge.  It has a positive task – doing good – and finds the task allows little time for the coddling of wounded feelings and the self-assertiveness of a sharp temper.

Without kindness in your relationship, your marriage will certainly not flourish. Here are some ways to check up on yourself regarding how kind you are in your marriage

  • You say “yes” a lot more than “no” when your spouse asks for a favor or for help.
  • You don’t interrupt your spouse.
  • You are polite and say “please” and “thank you” when speaking to your spouse.
  • You don’t think it is old fashioned to open a heavy door for your spouse or to share your jacket if your wife is cold.
  • You show respect for your mate.
  • You let your spouse know how much he/she is appreciated.
  • You don’t roll your eyes when your spouse says something you disagree with or something you think is trivial, boring, or stupid.
  • You routinely look for the good in your spouse.
  • You are helpful.
  • You don’t allow unkind comments to flow from your lips.
  • You make sure that your teasing is fun and not hurtful.

Today, remember that the Lord’s lovingkindness follows you (Psalm 23:6). When we experience the Lord’s kindness, it always moves us to extend it to others.

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