Saturday, November 9, 2013 – Day Two : Kindness
Day Two was all about learning how to complete the foundation of a good marriage. Day one was focusing on how to acquire patience and to act in a patient manner, which is one of the key components to a solid framework for a marriage. The second piece, is kindness. Without these two components, love will never truly flourish. You cannot properly show love if you are either impatient or lack kindness.
Taken from The Love Dare it shows how both play a valuable role, “Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem, kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive.”
The book further goes on to establish that there are 4 basic ingredients to kindness. Just like with any recipe you attempt to make, there are ingredients you need to use. There is a reason each of those ingredients is included in the recipe. Have you ever made a recipe and forgot a main ingredient? What happened? No doubt the recipe did not turn out the way it was intended to. Maybe the consistency was wrong, or maybe the taste was off. Similarly, in order to act in kindness fully and to have the “recipe” turn out properly, all four key ingredients must be contributed. If one is left out, kindness in every sense of the word will never be reached.
A few questions worth pondering: How would your husband or wife 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?
Don’t wait for your spouse to be kind first. Make it your goal every day to act with kindness, first.
The dare for day two:
The questions for review at the end of the day: What discoveries about love did you make today? What specifically did you do in this dare? How did you show kindness? How can you make this a daily habit?
Well my ability to act on this dare was very limited. Since we’re living separately and we both had other things we were doing during the day, we didn’t have plans to meet up until later in the evening. I had a coffee date with my mom and a mutual friend of ours in the afternoon, while Scott and his mom and his niece and nephew were going out to a movie. We were going to try and meet up after my coffee date and their movie. Scott gave me a call after the movie ended, indicating they had to make a quick run to the store and then were going to go out to eat and asked if I wanted to come along. My initial response was no, since I was in the middle of something after just getting home, and that I would just meet up with them after dinner over at his mom’s house.
After getting off the phone, all I could do was think about was me declining his invite. I felt bad about saying no. Yes, I know there were things that I had wanted to get done yet, but I know he wanted me there. I also know that he could definitely use the help with the kids, since it is chaos when they eat and since his mom was no doubt getting tuckered out by then with them…they could use some “fresh blood” to come in and help out. I shot him a text just a few minutes later…”Actually maybe I’ll come after all if that’s ok?” He texted back quickly stating that would be great.
Sometimes love means making an adjustment in your normal plans in order to be there for your spouse. Sometimes we need to think of the other person, ahead of ourselves. Was what I needed to do urgent or could I just get up a little earlier the next day to take care of it? Oftentimes we can make changes to what we want to do in order to do what the other person wants to do. I guess in this small way, I learned to put my husband first.
The whole evening upon meeting up with him I was searching for ways to act in kindness toward him. This was the first time I’ve ever actively thought about acting in kindness toward him. I had it on the forefront of my mind, and that allowed me to look for opportunities where I could do something kind to him or for him. It changed my whole mentality and approach about the evening. I was putting him first. I was looking for ways that I could be helpful to him, or to take the initiative in doing something for him. It was a way I have never been before. It made me appreciate what kindness is so much more and how to really demonstrate and show kindness.
I had opportunities. I helped put groceries away when we got back to his mom’s house. Their new puppy ended up tinkling all over the floor and I offered to clean up the mess. It was later discovered that he left another “mess” in the laundry room and I was quick to try and help clean that up. I helped him take care of the kids and keep them under control while he had to tend to other things and while his mom laid down since she wasn’t feeling well. I sought out ways that I could actively help him, instead of taking a lax approach. Did I really want to take care of the kids and deal with cleaning up after their puppy? Not especially. But I know that Scott could use the help and so I did what I could to ease his burden.
When you look for opportunities, they present themselves. I think this dare made me realize just how much can come from looking for the opportunity to act in a kind way. There are opportunities everywhere in every single day. If I saw as many opportunities as I did in just a few hours in one day, think of all the opportunities that are available in a full day, a full week, or a full month! It’s amazing to think of the shift that can take place when you make yourself aware and really seek out ways to act in kindness.
Day 2 down, 38 to go! 🙂