Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Romancing Your Spouse-Day 13: Presence & Absence:

"Love is patient, love is kind."
1 Corinthians 13:4 (New International Version)

A Week of Kindness:
Today is day two of our kindness week. 

Question for Reflection:
In terms of time spent with your spouse, how does your presence and absence impact your relationship?

I thought of this question last night while reading the liner notes of the wonderful album, "Unforgettable," by Natalie Cole. There are several pictures in the companion booklet to the CD where Natalie points out that her father was often away. She cherished those few childhood memories of time spent with her dad as he passed away when she was still young. 

Given Natalie's discussion of her father, Nat King Cole, apparently, he understood the value of maximizing every moment he spent with his family. 

Making the effort to be kind is so important as only God knows how much time we'll have down here until His Son, prayerfully takes us home.

Putting Kindness To Work:
So, how's it goin' with this whole "Random Acts of Kindness" campaign we started yesterday?

Was it difficult to find the right moment, or situation to exercise a kind gesture yesterday?

This morning, as I was throwing out some trash, a neighbor passed by, someone I've never seen before. As I entered the trash room,  I tried to make eye contact and said, "Good morning."

Perhaps he didn't hear me as he kept walking--and avoided eye contact. "Good morning!" I said cheerfully. The man seemed reluctant, but replied, "Good morning."

It's unfortunate that something as simple as "Hello" or "Good morning," has become the exception in some places, instead of a given, that your parents taught you in terms of manners. In today's fallen world, stuff like that shouldn't surprise us. 

Let's continue to be the light that draws others to Christ by 
the example we set with kindness.

Yesterday, I asked the following of you:

Every day this week, make an effort to do some little kind thing for your spouse--without spending any money. I'm not asking you to be as frugal as me. : ) I just want you to put some thought and planning into this assignment.

In addition, if possible, practice a random act of kindness to someone you encounter each day this week and observe how it influences both of you and the results thereof--in other words--how the act affects and effects both of you.

Today, I want you to really think about the time you spend with your spouse. How can you maximize that time? If you don't spend much time together, kindness is crucial. Who wants a bunch of negative time together? 

Be in the moment with your spouse. If possible, let them do most of the talking. Don't try to solve their problems unless they ask. Sometimes, a spouse just wants to decompress and vent about their day and not have someone try to fix it when they get home.

I learned this the hard way as I would constantly offer my wife suggestions for work related problems she discussed. She told me flat out once, "Don't try to solve this. I just want to vent right now." Nuff said. I got the message and a valuable lesson about when to offer help.

Thanks for reading this devotional. Please pass it along.

--Steve Kendall