Today’s dare is centered on kindness. The book goes on to explain that if patience is preventive, in that it avoids strife, kindness is proactive, seeking to create situations that will benefit your spouse. Since kindness in itself is too broad, the book breaks it down to four basic ingredients:

Gentleness – basically speaking the truth in love. – “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

Helpfulness – ensuring to meet your spouse’s needs.

Willingness – striving to be agreeable, flexible, and open to making compromises rather than being obstinate or reluctant.

Initiative – taking the first step towards forgiveness and reconciliation, being the first to show affection. – Involves laying down your pride instead of waiting for the other to show remorse or prove that he/she is worthy of your love.

The book then asks the following questions:

– How about you? How would your spouse 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?

Now, to be honest, I’m a little afraid to present those questions to My Man. I know I’m not a perfect wife. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s also liberating to confess all these short-comings. There are days when I let inconsiderate words slip; when I am unwilling to see his way or hear him out; when I sit on my high horse thinking “I’m right, he’s wrong.” Or that, “My way is better; he hasn’t thought his plans out.”

None of these things matter, if I want to learn to truly love My Man with the love of Christ. In the book, it says “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.” So I am determined to be patient and kind.

The dare: In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

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

This post is linked to Simply Complicated… That’s Just Me…

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