Bonfires and Bluejeans

Randoms from my spot next to the fire

Kindness above all else…

on September 16, 2013

     It’s Monday, y’all.  Pardon my overwhelming excitement, but not only am I not a morning person, but I’m also not a Monday morning person.  It’s a double whammy to be blessed with, for sure.  My sweet husband…bet he would have a different story, if you asked him.  Being that mornings are, by far, not my most favorite time of day, he’s sure had to learn how to deal with me.  He is, by severe contrast, the happiest morning person alive.  It’s sickening.  I’m not even kidding when I say some mornings, covering his sweet smile with a pillow till he calms down is not such a bad idea.  Wait…did I just type that?!

     Forget what I just wrote, cause today it’s all about kindness.  Even in the mornings.  Even on Monday Mornings.  Kindness in marriage has really taken a backseat in our culture today, and the consequences are pretty obvious.  I currently live in a state with one of the highest divorce rates in the country.  You can’t tell me that a lot of these marriages couldn’t be improved if they were just nice to each other.  Not saying that it’s the fix all, end all to the majority of situations, however it is a fantastic place to start.  Following are just a few observations I have about kindness in marriage.  How do I know, you ask?  I’ve been privy to both extremes.  The cold, heartless, and loveless kind to the complete opposite….full of grace, love and kindness.  I am finally a partner in a marriage in which being kind to each other is the foundation and a priority.  That, y’all, is the difference.

  • Be each other’s best friend.  I realize this is contrary to the cultural hype and popular thoughts in women’s magazine, but c’mon now.  If you’re gonna be living with someone and share the most intimate parts of your lives together, who would you rather it be with…your best friend or a stranger that happens to share your last name?  I’ve been reading several articles lately that talk about having your own separate relationships…going on vacations without your spouse…NOT having him as your ultimate best friend.  There are so many things wrong with this thought process, though and it just invites the dreaded marital troubles.
  • Kindness will take your marriage to the next level.  I am serious when I say this…I think that a lack of kindness to each other is what is killing our marriages.  You can read kindness to mean respect, courteousness, etc. but ultimately I believe it is kindness.  I have seen with my own two eyeballs couples who are downright rude to each other turn around, be sickeningly sweet to a complete stranger, then go right back to chewing each other out.  It’s not the way we should treat each other.  Where is the love in that?  If we can be nice to strangers, yet not to our own spouses, then something definitely needs some attention on the home front.  The bible pretty much sums this one up better than I ever could: Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another. Ephesians 5:21.  This goes for friends, family and complete strangers.  ‘Nough said.
  • Go out of your way to make your spouse’s day/life better.  Your spouse should be better off for knowing you.  They could have had anyone on this earth…and they chose you.  For a reason.  Don’t make them question their decision!  Chances are, you thought they were pretty special at one time, too.  Why, then, do we stop showing our appreciation for their loving us?  It’s not like we have to go out and buy a diamond ring all the time.  *Note to the hubster: if you wanna…I don’t mind! 🙂  This really isn’t about the “chase” after you’ve been “caught”.  It’s so much more basic than that.  Practicing kindness is an everyday thing.  But seriously y’all, it could be as simple as a thank you, a quick note, shoot even saying a prayer for them during the day.  How long has it been since you’ve done that??
  • Being kind to each other can help other…situations.  So.  Wanna know a little secret to women’s minds and hearts?  Being kind and showing politeness is akin to stirring up those feely good butterflies.  For some reason, knowing my man thinks enough about me to use his best manners for little ‘ol me is pretty dang sexy.  Like doing the dishes and laundry sexy.  You’ll just have to trust me on this one…

I really could go on…and on…and on.  But I’ll save ya and stop for now.  I think the main point of all of this is to say that if we can treat strangers better than we can someone who is supposed to be closer to us than anyone else on this earth, we really need to reevaluate our priorities.  I understand we have our arguments, frustrations, and downright annoyances.  Did you read my first paragraph??  Through thick and thin, ups and downs, and  good and bad we have to show kindness.  I don’t wanna hear “well he’s never kind to me…or she’s so rude to me”.  Whatevs.  The more you invest kindness into your marriage and family, the more you’ll get it back.

Yours,

Jennifer

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