Now, don’t you find it interesting — if not downright convicting — that we can find it in our hearts to demonstrate Christian grace to our friends, our neighbors or even a total stranger … but struggle to offer that same compassion to our own spouse?
“And on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Proverbs 31:26b (NKJV)
Funny to think it all started with a perfect stranger.
Pressed for time and already feeling anxious, I somehow managed to land in the slowest line at the grocery store. Clearly, the cashier was having a bad day and didn’t even try to hide it.
I felt that deep annoyance rising within me.
But then I remembered: Kindness, Lisa. You must show her kindness. You have no idea what her story is, and for all you know, you might be her one glimpse of Christian grace today.
Thankfully, by the time I checked out, I got a grip on my attitude and managed to greet the young woman warmly. She mumbled something about “everything going wrong,” and I cheerfully told her not to worry! It happens to all of us.
Her look of surprise told me she expected a different response.
And that would’ve been the end of that little story.
Except for one thing.
When I returned home later that afternoon on this rather stressful day, I received a phone call from my husband to say he was running late. It had been “one thing after another,” and he was going to miss our appointment.
Once again, I felt a deep annoyance rising within me.
How could he do this to me? When I had raced like a madwoman through my errands so I could be home in time for this. And now, all for nothing.
Deep, deep annoyance.
And then I remembered, “And on her tongue is the law of kindness” (Proverbs 31:26b).
My tongue was tasting anything but kindness. How I wanted to lash out! To make sure he understood how much he’d messed up my plans for the evening.
I thought back to earlier that day when I chose differently for a complete stranger at the grocery store.
For her, I decided to be patient, understanding and, hopefully, gracious.
I surprised her with a kind word.
Why should it be any different with the man I had pledged to love?
I was silent for so long on the phone he finally asked if I was still on the line.
I took a deep breath and responded with something soft and understanding — instead of the clipped, resentful remarks previously sitting on the tip of my tongue.
I surprised him with kindness.
Now, my sister, don’t you find it interesting — if not downright convicting — that we can find it in our hearts to demonstrate Christian grace to our friends, our neighbors or even a total stranger … but struggle to offer that same compassion to our own husbands?
Maybe we think, Oh, he can take it. Or, I just have to be myself. Or justify it with, It’s not like I can be perfect. I get it. I’ve had all those same thoughts.
But what are we going to do about those Bible verses like Ephesians 4:32 which instruct us to be kind to one another? To be tenderhearted? Those are not only intended for the people “out there” but also for the people near us.
“Beginning with the one by your side.”
So let’s ask the Lord to help us be kind to our husbands — with the words we speak, the tone we use and the actions we take.
Go ahead, surprise him with your kindness.
Because, after all, love is kind.
Dear heavenly Father, I confess I’m not always as kind as I would like to be. Please forgive me, Lord, and help me to show more kindness to this man I’ve married. I want to be patient and compassionate with him, just as You have been so incredibly kind to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.