Part 3 of Love Is… series (see part 2 here) How do you define love? How do you know that you are actually loving your spouse? When we’ve measured love by the butterflies in the pit of our stomach what happens when the flutters subside? In this blog series we’re taking a practical approach of defining love and executing in our marriages. We’ll have a measuring stick for our love. A love that’s more than heroic, but can be found in the day to day.
What is Love, really?
“Love is patient, love is kind…” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
Are you kind in your marriage? You said that you loved your spouse so you admit that you are kind. But does being kind mean that you are sappy all the time? Does it involve you standing eternally in front of a closed door saying, “After you, no after you”. No, kindness is about noticing your spouse and what they need. Here is a definition of what it means to be kind:
Kind means to be useful and helpful: I was shocked as I researched this word how often kindness centered around being of use to somebody else. Kindness is always about looking after the good of another person and asking, “How can I help?” Do you notice your spouse as they are doing something around the house and ask them, “How can I help?” Lots of time when I see Thea in the kitchen cooking or folding clothes, I ask “how can I help?” This is being kind. But better than that is if you are not just helpful but also useful. Do you ever do things that are helpful to your spouse without having to be asked? If your wife pulls into the garage and you know she’s been grocery shopping, do you just sit on the couch and wait for her to come inside or do you hop up and rush to the garage to help her bring in the groceries? What ways can you think that you can show your kindness and love by being helpful and useful
Kindness means being sympathetic: Are you showing how kind you can be by being sympathetic towards your spouse? Or are you an insensitive scumbag? Being sympathetic to have a certain level of sensitivity to the emotions of others. I love the phrase from the Bible that says to “rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with them that weep.” When your spouse comes home and is excited about something, do you stop what you are doing to be happy with them? Or if they are sad or upset about something, do you stop what you are doing to lower your shoulder to them? Or do you try to rush them through their feelings to “get over it?” How kind are you? If you can’t do this, you can’t really say that you love your spouse.
Kindness means not just doing what is convenient for yourself: Do you only do what’s convenient for you? My wife almost always asks me when she is getting herself something if I always want something. If we come home for lunch she will start to prepare my lunch without asking. If I am not feeling well, she pulls out all the stops to cater to me and make sure that I am feeling ok. I noticed that I was not giving her the same courtesy. When I was up getting ice cream or pouring something to drink I wouldn’t ask her, if we came home for lunch and I started fixing my lunch first I wouldn’t prepare hers, if she was not feeling well I would be impatient about trying to make her feel better. And if I did ask her, fix her lunch or try to take care of her, if was with a poor attitude. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do as much good for her as she did for me, if was just that it was an inconvenience to me. But it occurred to me that it was also not convenient for her either? And on top of that it wasn’t kind. How could I say that I really loved my wife if I wasn’t being kind to her?
Love is kind.
Are you being kind in your marriage? What do you think about the above description of kindness? How can you express your love in the area of kindness to your spouse today?