To be kind… Are you kind to your spouse? What about those around you? In this mid-marriage video, we talk about how important kindness is, and how each of us may view it differently.
Kindness is not about you!
Being kind is not about you and your needs. Sorry. Being kind is not about your agenda and how you’ve scheduled it within the time you’ve allotted. To be kind may have some pain involved. Being kind can be intrusive, and downright inconvenient.
Sometimes, being kind will be uncomfortable. Sorry.
smiling at your spouse – even if you don’t feel like it
offering to serve your spouse – to meet a need – even if you haven’t been served
giving your best to your spouse – before anyone else receives your best
refraining from an action because it might cause pain or concern, even if you really “want” it
remaining neutral (and silent) when your spouse needs a sounding board, even if you have an opinion
Be kind – as a spouse, kindness may not be about you – but it will make a positive mark on you both and the future.
(and if you think you’re too assertive or strong-willed to be kind, then see a suggested post listed below!)
but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good
as far as it can be obtained.”
~ C.S. Lewis
Be kind. Demonstrate love in action.
If we were to describe how to be kind we’d use these words:
Which behaviors would you add to this list of words?
How do you demonstrate kindness in your marriage – in your family – and in the world around you?
Want to add some kindness into your lives as husband and wife?
Discuss kindness with your spouse. Explore posts from other marriage bloggers.
Discover what you both would define as kindness and then pass it on!
Some thoughts on generosity from The Generous Wife and how she came to value kindness, encouragement, and overall generosity. Click HERE
Having a strong will isn’t a curse – use it to be kind to each other. Chris has an excellent view from her experience with her Big Guy. Explore how to be a strong-willed blessing for your spouse – read Chris’ ideas HERE.
Want to give your spouse a gift? Then consider these gifts from Gaye’s post – yes, from Christmas time, but the ideas are relevant all year long. Being kind takes many forms –discuss with your spouse these kind gifts – will he/she agree that these actions are kind?
How do you be kind to each other, even as you seek to connect while your spouse is busy? Lori Byerly (The Generous Wife) has some solid suggestions on how to handle interrupting your spouse… kindly! Read the ideas here and discuss!
Do you have a post on KINDNESS on your site? Leave a short description and a link in the comments… let’s share!
Making Choices – sometimes we go with the obvious. But is the obvious always the best route?
Making Choices – Plan A – Plan B and more!
In this video, we talk about the idea that the choices we make don’t have to be obvious. That’s in the area of regular, mundane choices – things that happen every day, week or even year. Taking the obvious route might be the easiest, but sometimes the easiest choice isn’t the best. If it’s a routine, change it up a bit – see what happens!
And when there’s a serious issue – do we go with the obvious, or do we have more than one plan to move past the issue?
In our family circle we have a serious situation – it’s with our son and daughter-in-love’s dog, Pixel. Alex and Alisane needed to make some decisions. The obvious wasn’t going to happen…
Making choices for Pixel and her family…
Pixel is four years old. She’s a mixed breed – boxer, pitt and hound. Alex and Alisane adopted her as a puppy. She visited us regularly before we left on our travels. Here are a few pictures of puppy-Pixel:
And then Alex and Alisane added a new member to the family – and Pixel had to adjust.
Pixel has done so well! She’s very patient with the grandboy.
And a full part of the family.
Making choices for Pixel – what to do?
One day Pixel came in from outside – limping. And her limp didn’t get any better. So Alex and Alisane took Pixel to the vet.
… it turns out that because of a genetic malformation in the bones of her legs, she ended up rupturing both of her ACL’s and needs her first knee surgery in June and her second knee surgery in September.
Surgery for a dog’s ruptured ACL is not cheap. Can you imagine what it costs for two knees to be repaired?
Thousands of dollars!
What choices did Alex and Alisane have?
end Pixel’s life – this might be some people’s response – it wasn’t for Alex and Alisane
take out a loan (that’s tough for a young couple)
reach out for help from friends and family – they’ve done 2 garage sales with donated items
create a go-fund-me page
use Alex’s business for raising money. Pixel is an official member of the Team at Your Local Studio. Her title is “Director of Happiness”
be united in making each other smile! Yes, making your spouse smile will unite the two of you! HERE are 51 ways…
Being united strengthens your family.
This world we live in isn’t an easy place to be. It’s filled with so many pitfalls. Too many couples succumb to one hazard or another, and their division causes pain. The pain isn’t just felt for the two of them, it’s also felt like a ripple effect. Children are hurt when couples are no longer united. Parents of the couple suffer when two people choose to no longer be united. Even friends can feel great pain when their couple friends are no longer united.
Having a united response as a husband and wife impacts more than only the two of you – it also strengthens your family. Your children, your parents, your siblings and all of your friends can have a sense of security when they trust that the two of you – husband and wife – are united.
Please – give some thought to the areas in which you are not united with your spouse.
And address those areas.
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis 2:24 NIV
…on being united in finances…
When both spouses are not on the same page, success becomes very difficult. It’s like having a business partner who is not working on the business. Both spouses must pull the same cart together. When one spouse is not on the same page, the cart will eventually become too hard to pull on your own.
Thomas C. Corley researches and writes about the habits of those who are rich. This post was spot-on for Robert and me. He talks about loyalty ( that’s one of our Values) and being supportive and optimistic…
Little ideas to build unity… and JOY!
Have you seen our video about #93toJOY? We had so much fun recording it… It’s about doing 93 days of little activities together that don’t take much time or money. #93toJOY is about addressing those days, months and years that aren’t easy… Learn more HERE
Dealing with Decisions? Mid-marriage is defined by too many options.
You could do this… or that. Or another. And another thing.
Analysis paralysis sets in and nothing happens. Nothing. You’re stuck in limbo as a couple because you can’t decide.
Are you and your spouse…
Proactive or Reactive? Or some combination of the two?
With two reactive people you hear a lot of “I don’t know… what do you want to do?” They meander through their days and very few decisions get made until they’re in a corner. Sometimes it’s even hard to choose which movie they want to watch that evening! They may even wonder, “Is this all there is in our life – our marriage?”
In a proactive & reactive combination, they’re usually on the path of the more proactive person – where the reactive person doesn’t feel heard because they’re slower to react/make up their mind, and the proactive person is wondering why as a couple they’re always doing what she/he wants!
The relationship between two proactive people might have a lot of “head-butting” – both husband and wife are taking action and they’re wondering why they’re never on the same page… and they’re saying to others, “we’ve grown apart” because they’re busy doing their own thing.
How can all these types of couples make a decision?
What’s it like in our marriage when we’re dealing with decisions? Well, Robert is the more proactive person and I’m the reactive person. One way we’ve found useful to make an immediate decision is knowing our 3 differentiating Values – those Values we’ve chosen that define who we are as a couple. We look at every decision through the lens of our Values of Loyalty, Optimism, and Discovery (they’re rank-ordered). But that’s us as “Rob and Lori”…
The Values you and your spouse choose will be very different than ours! If you’re interested in determining your own differentiating Values as a couple, we’ve developed a workbook/guide. And we’re in the process of creating videos to accompany you through the workbook.
But there’s something every couple needs when dealing with decisions. Specifically the serious decisions. What is it?
The ability to pray together.
Prayer is necessary when dealing with decisions.
Even with knowing your own differentiating Values as a couple, diligently praying and asking for direction from your Heavenly Father must be a part of the equation.
As humans we don’t know all the details – only God has the big picture view. He’ll lead and guide us if we ask. And if we seek. When we knock and keep knocking to understand and know what He wants in our lives, then the decisions become clear.
What if you’ve never prayed together? Or it’s been a while? We have some suggestions for you HERE.
Just a note: Prayer isn’t a magic solution to get what you want, and neither is God a genie in a bottle. The act of prayer renews your faith. The answers you recieve will shape your perspective. It’s a process that’s simple but not necessarily easy. However, it is necessary.
Pray. Together. Make a decision. Together. Then go for it.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re naturally proactive or reactive. Embrace the opportunity to make a decision together and then go all in.
Being a thankful spouse or an annoyed spouse – it’s your choice.
Are there things that annoy you about your spouse?
Maybe you feel they spend too much time on the computer.
(What could they be possibly doing all that time?)
Maybe they leave their dirty clothes on the floor.
(Why is it so hard to just hang them up, or at least put them in the laundry basket?)
Maybe they put things away before you’re finished using them.
(Why can’t they just leave things alone until you’re finished, or at least ask first?)
Maybe they drive too slowly for your taste.
(Why can’t they drive more like you, at least when we’re together?)
Maybe they have an irritating habit, like how they blow their nose, scratch their backside, burp, or hiccup.
(Didn’t their mother teach them anything?)
This is the person you fell in love with…
The truth is – your spouse possessed many of these habits before you first met. Much of the behavior you experience each day is built into their DNA. In other words, for the most part, God made your spouse this way.
And this is the person you fell in love with.
The same person who spends too much time on the computer is the one to whom you’re grateful for how they quickly find the perfect solution to your everyday problems.
The same person who just drops their clothes on the floor is the one you admire for their ability to be spontaneous, for their creativity, or the way they always put people first before possessions.
The same person who keeps putting things away is the one you appreciate for keeping your world organized and neat.
The same person who drives too slowly for your taste is the one you trust to drive your children around because you know they will be safe.
The same person who has that irritating habit is the one you appreciate for allowing you to feel relaxed and at home without any need to worry about your own strange habits.
The secret to removing the feeling of annoyance is the Value of thankfulness.