Cultivating a Healthy Marriage – Clothed with Kindness

Colossians 3:12-17 declares that our Lord has given us a wardrobe to wear
that will enable us to fulfill the vows that we make to the Lord and to each other on our wedding day.

All of us are naturally inclined to go to the wardrobe of the FLESH. This wardrobe produces in us and in our relationships such destructive attitudes like selfishness, envy, jealousy and even hostility. It results in discord, outbursts of anger, dissensions, and factions.

The wardrobe of the SPIRIT reflects the character of our Savior, Jesus Christ. One of his notable characteristics is kindness. In Romans 2:4 we learn that it is God’s kindness in Jesus Christ that leads us to repentance and faith.

Kindness is the second piece of clothing mentioned in the list in Colossians 3:12. It reads: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”

The original word for kindness is ‘chrestos.’ The word has one letter different than the word for Christ – ‘christos.’ In marriage, kindness not only involves a willingness to forgive but also an overall readiness to enhance the life of your spouse because of your own deep inner security that comes from knowing that you enjoy the Lord’s favor and approval. This word speaks of a gentle, gracious disposition.

I see so many couples today who are extremely competitive with one another. They are unable to rejoice in the successes of their spouse. Kindness also enables you to give space for the uniqueness of each other. A kind person ceases trying to change their spouse to become more like them.

This character quality involves a self-control based on a growing faith in God’s over-ruling providence. Providence means that God governs all the actions of all of His creatures at all times and God works out all things according to the counsel of His will. A kind believer is above petty resentment and revenge. Kindness 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 become a business, contractual relationship. Unfortunately, you will see this happen to some of your dearest friends. Watch especially for sarcasm – sharp, bitter, or cutting expressions, remarks or gestures!

Sincerity is always your best guide for how to talk to and about one another.Here are some practical ways to check yourself and to see how kind you are becoming in your marriage.

Also, you can use this guide to pray for one another regarding certain areas of needed growth.

  • You say “yes” a lot more than “no” when your spouse asks for a favor or for help.
  • You are willing to share that last piece of pie or cookie because being kind is being generous.
  • You don’t interrupt your spouse when they are talking.
  • 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 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 or boring.
  • You routinely look for the good in your spouse. You don’t assume the worst.
  • 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.
May the Lord so work in us that kindness becomes a hallmark strength of our marriages.
Writing this let’s me know that I have some work to do in weaving kindness more into my own marriage .

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