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.
Kindness is something we expect more from others when we encounter one another. Don’t believe me? What’s another way of describing customer service? Aha! How often do we ask ourselves if we are the ones who should be extending it at the time we are crossing paths? Especially, when we do not feel like it. I cannot say that I can find an exact scripture to support the theory I am about to share with you. Still, give my epiphany a chance and see how you feel at the end of this account.
I had the opportunity to attend a seminar that focused on ministry burnout at Tallahassee Christian College and Training Center taught by Linda Strickland. I had no idea that I was going to gain so much from something that had nothing to do with marriage. Oh, but it did! Let’s see if I can explain it in a nutshell. Do you believe it is your spouse’s duty to be kind to you? It’s okay if your answer is yes. What if he or she has the same expectation? Marital expectations can put us in peculiar dispositions and state of affairs at times. Again, we tend to expect kindness when we come in contact with another person, even if it is with our spouse. Now what? Who goes first? Better yet, why can’t you be first?
In this seminar I realized that because of everything that I go through in my day, I had an expectation of my godly spouse to remove the muck and mire that I encountered once I was in his presence. Then I could be a kinder me. Nevertheless, the truth of the matter is it is my responsibility. That day I learned that it is my duty to have boundaries outside of our marriage so that I could always be ready to offer the best me to my husband. Because he does see part of his job as helping me leave the fight outside the front door, who am I to make that job hard on him? Without necessary boundaries I not only make his efforts seem inadequate, but at times it can be useless because there is no guarantee that he can remove enough of it from me to get his true wife back.
We want to help others, we want to be found doing the work of the Lord, and when we are found we want others to recognize our good deeds and works for various reasons. Yes, some reasons are good. On the other hand, some are superficial. That’s a different blog. Right now, we need to set boundaries. Set boundaries on how much you pour out into things and outside responsibilities. Putting limits on what I like to call, our internal resources, is a smart way to reserve the better parts of us for those who need it the most; our spouses and families. Setting restrictions to our day and to our commitments to others helps us to reserve our usefulness. This way, we can be more useful to him or her and better able to have the moral excellence that makes us more attractive and appealing (kindness) when we are with the one whom our souls love (SOS 3:4). After all, it is our first ministry.
Let's try another perspective. Take a look at what Fish had to say about kindness.
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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.