It’s time for our Ignite the Fire Marriage blog series, with three bloggy friends! We’re all writing on the same topic today, so you can read this post and then follow the links to see their unique take on how we can ignite the fire in our marriages.
Today we’re talking about kindness in marriage.
A few weeks ago I was having a really bad day. I had a ton of work to get through and everything kept going wrong. I was mildly annoyed at my kids for not stepping up and cleaning the house for me when I was busy. My husband had been on call a lot and wasn’t really home. And I had errands to do.
And as I walked into the drug store, this dear older gentleman held the door open for me, and said, “Have a wonderful day, ma’am.”
It was such a small thing. But he was smiling, and I found myself smiling, too. And I thought: there is good in the world.
It’s amazing how a small thing–a little thing even–can change the whole dynamic in your emotional state.
And yet it’s these little things that we often have the most trouble with. Instead of just pouring him a glass of cold water when he’s sitting exhausted on the couch, we fret and stew in the kitchen wondering why he doesn’t take the initiative to talk more.
We tend to focus on what we’re upset at him for, not on what we can do just to make his day a little bit easier. And then we start thinking in terms of “he doesn’t deserve it.” We see things too often in terms of “deserve”.
Now perhaps you don’t do this. Perhaps you’re not particularly angry at your husband, but nevertheless you don’t tend to do these little things, either. You’re caught up in your to-do list, and what you’re thinking about, and you feel as if he should be caught up in his, too. Having to do something little for him is just adding to the things on your list, not taking them away.
Yet I want to give you this thought:
Success in marriage is less about worrying about the big things as it is about doing the small things, day after day.
It’s those small things that make him feel ten feet tall. It’s those small acts of kindness that say, “I’m thinking about you.” It’s those small things that make him so glad that he’s married to you.
And if you could do those small things, why wouldn’t you?
Even if you’re going through a tough time in your marriage, and you feel really distant, doing these small things can help you see the marriage in a different light, and help him feel more positively, too. When we act kindly, we tend to feel and think kindly as well. It’s a win-win. And remember that kindness is not something that God gave to us because we deserved it. Kindness is something that God gave to us because He loves us. And He asks us to do the same thing for our husbands.
I often think of it like this: God is not just my Father; He’s also my Father-in-Law. Understanding that thought can change your marriage! God doesn’t just want the best for you; He wants the best for your husband, too. And maybe you are the primary way that God wants your husband to experience love and kindness on this earth. Maybe one of your main purposes in this life is to love him–just as his purpose is to love you. So why wouldn’t you?
If you want something more practical, I’ve got a great post on 25 Quick Ways to Show Your Husband Love. All of them take less than 5 minutes, cost little or nothing, and have nothing to do with sex (though I talk about sex a lot at other times!). Check them out!
But if we sprinkled more kindness into our marriages, we would change that whole dynamic. Speak kind words. Think about his preferences–for dinner, for instance. Think about what he appreciates–and then do these things. That’s a wonderful gift to give to him.
Ignite the Fire Challenge: Be intentional about showing your husband kindness this week. Think about 2 little things you can do to be kind to your husband–and then do them! Start making that a habit of doing 2-3 small things a day, for it’s the small things that a marriage is built on!
My three blogging friends have also written on this today, and you can see what they have to say, too!
Join us next week when we talk about how to ignite the fire of vision in our marriages.
Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!
Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.