How do you compose a blog about kindness when everything and everyone around you is killing your motivation for it? How can I be useful when I am feeling used or used up? Why do I have to exhibit moral excellence when the people around me seem like their conduct is optional or they have no character at all, let alone spell it? Yes. This was my week and I still had to write about this spiritual characteristic.
Another easy one. Everyone knows what kindness is, right? Sort of a Mary Poppins meets Mother Theresa thing. But for the sake of this blog, I had to do the definition thing, so I went to the good folks at Oxford Living Dictionary who gave me this jewel: “The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”. Cool. Friendly, generous, and considerate. That’s me in a nutshell. (Those of you who truly know me can stop laughing now). So kindness is simply me getting up in the morning, saying my prayers, and going out to be generous and considerate. Easiest blog ever.
Patience. This one was going to be easy. Get the concordance, look up patience, find the reference that fits with Galatians 5:22, define the words, write a blog. So, I got my concordance, looked up patience, and to my amazement, there was no reference to the book of Galatians. So I went back to the Bible and looked for the reference word. The words it gave me to find were forbearance and longanimity. One of those words I vaguely understand, the other one I didn’t know existed. So how was I to tie this into displaying the fruit of the Spirit in marriage?
Peace in marriage. This is such a beautiful concept, and Romans 14:19 instructs us to make every effort to do the things that will lead us into or maintain peace. It also tells us to make every effort to say things that strengthen and encourage one another. What is better training ground for this lesson other than the mission field of marriage? I had the pleasure of writing about this fruit because it is a struggle for me even today. So, I am going to share three concepts that still help me to show this part of the fruit in time of trouble.
Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given you under the sun—all the days of vanity and futility. For this is your reward in life and in your work in which you have labored under the sun. (AMP)
While training to become a Christian counselor, one of our responsibilities was to help others find or increase their "joy" intake. We defined joy as "I am happy to be with you". Hmmm... Then joy in marriage seems like a no-brainer. Of course, we should have joy, a major part of the decision to marry is to secure joy. When a couple decides to marry, it is usually due to an abundance of joy. Every encounter they have seems to be filled with happiness, and that happiness keeps them moving forward together. Over the course of time, the trials and responsibilities of life eat away at the time they can spend enjoying their lives. That confidence in knowing their spouse is still happy being with them begins to fade. If left unchecked, those issues will continue to erode the joy, until there is none left.
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.