Always be Kind
Kindness is without a doubt my absolute, single, favourite attribute in Mark. I find it hard to articulate in words a definition for kindness. However, in real life, my husband, Greenie, is kindness personified.
I know what it feels like to be the recipient of constant and consistent kindness. It is life giving.
My husband inspires me to be more kind.
When I first met Mark’s parents, one of the first things I noticed was how kindly they spoke to one another. While they had a great sense of humour and would often banter playfully, his dad (now my dad also) would always speak to Mutti (Mother in Italian) with kindness and respect.
Research shows Kindness keeps couples together
Psychologist John Gottman has been studying relationships in marriages for the last four decades. He has studied thousands of couples in a quest to figure out what makes relationships work. Together he and his wife Julie, also a phycologist in New York City, run The Gottman Institute which is devoted to helping couples build and maintain loving, healthy relationships based on scientific research. They are renowned experts on marital stability.
The research that they did showed that there was something that was seen consistently through the couples who enjoyed long and harmonious marriages. It was this: kindness glues couples together. This research was backed up by other research independent from theirs. It showed time and time again that kindness (along with emotional stability) is one of the most important predictors of satisfaction and stability in marriage.
Kindness is Like A Muscle
I am learning that kindness is not a trait that some are born with and others are not. It is actually not dissimilar to any other attribute where, like a muscle, it grows by reason of use. We must exercise it to keep it in shape. I love how Pastor McCarthy talked about the kindness in his own marriage.
“Kindness is a commitment that Cyndi and I have made in our marriage to one another. We know it was kindness that first sparked our love and it’s the thing that is going to help us go the distance in our marriage. And if it’s lived out in the most practical ways: sharing house work and homework, encouraging each other’s callings, notes of appreciation, words of encouragement, and never cutting each other down whether in private or in public. Of course, not letting disagreements fester into bitterness but working things out so we both win. Cyndi’s kindness to me is one of the huge reasons why I’m still deeply in love with her after 19 years of marriage.”2
While it is hard to define, I know what kindness looks like in my marriage.
It looks like the way Mark Greenwood treats me..
- Kindness is the gentle way Mark talks to me at the end of a long day.
- Kindness is the way he fills my car with petrol late at night so I don’t have to do it on the way to work in the morning.
- Kindness is the way he cleans the house and makes sure he folds the clothes before I get home because he knows how much I love it.
- Kindness is how he never embarrasses me before others.
- Kindness is when he looks at me and says, “Besties?”
- Kindness is when he refrains from “advising” me when I am distraught but just listens and nods and offers me Redskins and caramel lollies.
- Kindness is when he corrects me with truth no matter how hard it is.
- Kindness is when he corrects me at the right time when my heart is open and I am not tired, hungry or stressed.
- Kindness is when he sits with me and dreams with me.
Greenie, if you are reading this, you are kindness personified.
The impact of your kindness inspires me daily.
Beloved readers I think to Reign in our marriages is to practice kindness.
If like me, you want to grow in kindness let us be intentional about it this week.
What is one new action or way of thinking that you can use to promote and develop kindness in your marriage?
Let us cultivate kindness in ourselves and in our marriage together.
You are deeply loved and richly cherished.
Reign in Life
Wink: Who is the Kindest Celebrity? I hate to say her name again, but I would have to say Oprah. For all her money and fame, she has remained kind and generous. Who would you say is the kindest celebrity?
PS did you enjoy this marriage series? Get my entire book on “7 thoughts of marriage.”