Being Kind

Posted by  | Monday, June 1, 2009  at 7:55 PM  
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." Titus 2: 3-5

How do you define being kind? In the book Feminine Appeal, Carolyn Mahaney defines kindness as "a sincere desire for our husbands' and childrens' happiness." I think most of us think we are "kind" wives and mothers as a whole, until we start paying attention to the little episodes of the day or if we purposefully sit down and replay the day's interactions with our families. When the pressure is on, do you choose kindness over bitterness? Do you choose kindness when we feel taken for granted? Do you choose kindness when your not feeling listened to or cherished?

I am continually reminding myself that my goal in how I treat my family is that I want to treat them better than any stranger I meet. I want my family to feel prized, cherished, and set-apart in how I speak to them, make sacrifices for them, how I serve them, and how I yearn to bless and impress them. I wish I could say that I don't ever miss the mark, but oh how I do! How is it that most of the time, generally speaking,we talk to strangers more cordially than our own husband or children? How is it that those closest to us see the ugliest in us at times? How do you choose kindness when you don't feel like being kind?

First of all, coming from a Christian perspective, you won't be able to meet that expectation of kindness that is asked of us, unless you ask the Lord to help you, unless you preach Scripture to yourself that helps pull you through those moments when selfishness is what you want to seize. In John 14:26, God has provided a Helper for us to assist us: "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." Whew. Reading that makes me breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that I'm not alone. I also feel the need to repent upon reading that, for I all too often do not ask the Lord for help in those moments where I'm under pressure/stress.

In Feminine Appeal, Carolyn elaborates more on this very expectation of kindness in Titus 2. She highlights three common hindrances, three sins, that "often obstruct this godly desire." They are: anger, bitterness, and judging.
This week, in another post, I will quickly dabble into these three sins and how she recommends that we overcome them.

I will say that this verse in Titus and this chapter in Feminine Appeal really have helped me examine my heart and truly look at our family to see where I can initiate kindness all the more. May kindness define the desires of our hearts!

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