C.S. Lewis, the well-known author of many books including The Chronicles of Narnia, once said, “The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he ‘like’ them: the Christian, trying to treat everyone kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on – including people he could not even have imagined liking at the beginning.”
Remember back when you were dating your spouse . . . . . . . (dramatic pause to give you time to remember back then)? If you were like most, you couldn’t do enough kind deeds. You were happy to fix dinner for him or her, help with errands, work on her car, pick up groceries, and the list goes on and on. Kindness became second nature. Perhaps it still is. But for some of you, the relationship has deteriorated over time; there have been deep hurts fueled by harsh words, passive-aggressiveness, and – unkindness. When you think of kindness in your relationship, it is a distant and now foreign thought. However, beginning to rethink acts of kindness just might be the very thing that can dislodge a stuck relationship. Looking back to the quote above, we realize that what C.S. Lewis is affirming is that emotions follow actions, not the other way around. If I choose to intentionally treat my sometimes hard to love spouse with kindness, there is a greater likelihood that I will over time begin to feel differently. I’m not saying that you will necessarily see immediate results, though that can happen, but I am saying that you could begin to change the trajectory of an off course relationship. So, today as you look at your spouse – I want to encourage you to make that choice to intentionally express kindness. Someone once said, “Kindness is the one thing you’ll never have to take back.” How can you show kindness in an entirely new way today?