We have been so blessed by Matthew and Lisa Jacobson as we have been following their blogs. They are doing a series called The Seven Habits of a Highly Fulling Marriage currently. As we have been so encouraged, we thought we would share with our readers as well.
For The WivesI was always so happy to see her.
Whenever she dropped by – I dropped everything. Smiled and gave her a hug. Suggested that she stay awhile and made her a cup of tea.
They were just little things, I know. But it was my way of saying “I care about you” and “you are dear to me”. Simple, small acts of kindness offered to a friend.
My husband watched it all from the other room. I think I’d forgotten he was even home that day. Observing it all from his favorite chair.
Then I noticed a rather melancholy look in his eyes. Sort of sad with a bit of regret. And so later I asked him about it.
“What? What were you thinking while Susan was here?”
He shrugged, but I wasn’t about to let him off that easily. I had to know. Please tell me. Even if hurts.
He started out slowly, “I couldn’t help wishing. And wondering.”
Yes….I urged impatiently.
“Well, why you wouldn’t smile like that at me. You know, drop everything and give me a big hug when I walked through the door. Offer to make a pot of coffee. Things like that…things like you did for her.”
He was right. And it hurt.
My husband – that man I love – was only looking for a little kindness. Small gestures of thoughtfulness. From me. His wife.
You might say it was a turning point for us. Before that I considered kindness as something you “felt” toward someone – more like a sentimental impulse. I didn’t understand that it was something you could simply choose.
And I certainly didn’t understand that this was something my husband needed from me.
A Kind Wife Who…Smiles warmly. She lights up when she sees her man.
Looks up lovingly. When he walks in. Sure, she’s busy, but always has a moment for him.
Replies graciously. She doesn’t snap or snarl. She saves her sweet tone for him.
Offers thoughtfully. She looks for those little ways to bless him.
And on her tongue is the law of kindness. Prov. 31:26Admittedly, this took some effort on my part. I’m sorry to say it didn’t flow naturally from me, but at least it came more easily as time went on.
And now it’s just my way of saying “I care about you” and “you are dear to me”. Simple, small acts of kindness offered to a friend.
Who also happens to be my husband.
That man I love.
In His grace,
For The HusbandsI never meant to be unkind but there I was, getting dressed as her words stabbed me deeply.
Why do you leave your dirty laundry all over the floor? Do you want the maid to pick up after you?
Maid? I don’t treat you like a maid.
Really? Then why can’t you carry your dirty laundry ten feet to the laundry basket, instead of throwing it on the floor? You’d never treat someone else like this.
Ouch . . . it was true, I never would. When I’m in a hotel, I even hate leaving the towels on the floor. So, what was I thinking? . . . was I thinking?
Or take the exhausted wife with young children whose husband regularly kicks back after work but rarely thinks of giving her a break.
Or the husband talking with me while keeping his back to his wife the entire time.
How about not considering her needs and desires when we’re being intimate?
There are a lot of ways to be unkind.
Choosing kindness in action, word, or tone communicates: I care deeply about how you feel. When a woman knows . . . feels . . . she is deeply cared for, she finds herself in a safe place where giving of herself becomes a pleasure. Without kindness, the habitual kindness, the highly fulfilling marriage you desire will remain a desire, nothing more.
There are plenty of good reasons to develop the habit of kindness but there’s one reason that trumps them all: God commands it:
There is a great deal of power in your possession – power that is unleashed to envelope your spouse with love when you learn the habit of choosing kindness in the many everyday moments that make up a marriage.Be kind to one another, Eph.4:32
And, it is a choice – a choice for you and for me to make every day. And, yes, it flows both ways but, men, we are the initiators (or should be if we’re not).
If you need to know specifics, humbly ask your spouse where you need to change. And if being made aware isn’t enough, ask God to do His work in your heart and head.
Embrace the Habit of Choosing Kindness and you’ll be in fellowship with God, with your spouse, and on the road to a highly fulfilling marriage.
Please be sure and leave any questions or comment you might have. We’d love to hear from you!