There is a shortage of kindness in this world.
I don’t know if you have noticed this as well, but I haven’t been able to escape the reality lately. At the park last week, a lady told me that my children were unruly. Her words were sharp and accusatory. I kept thinking, “I don’t know you, and you don’t know my children.” But those thoughts did little to combat the mom-shaming that came from this woman.
Two days later, I sent my mother-in-law a text. However, her new number did not update when I recently reset my phone, and so I found myself in this conversation:
I showed the message to my husband and said, “I’m convinced people do not know how to be kind.” I don’t know how you usually respond to a wrong number text, but this person seemed unnecessarily annoyed.
And as if these example aren’t enough, just watch or read the news. The media covers our brokenness more than anything else. Each time I finish reading the news, I’m convinced more and more, of our desperate need for Jesus.
There is a shortage of kindness in this world, and I’m a part of the problem.
As I complain about all the mean people in the world, the Lord quickly pointed out that I’m equally unkind. I smiled at the stranger in the park while passing silent judgment. She had one child who threw a major fit when it was time for them to leave. Internally, I justified that I’m balancing five young children who might be loud, but they come when I call them. Only the Lord knew that I met her unkindness with unkindness.
And while I might not have acted on my thoughts, I laughed at the idea of immediately texting the wrong number from my husband’s phone, just to push this person’s buttons. If I want to live in a kinder world, then I need to be thinking nicer thoughts.
A kind world begins with each of us, in our homes.
The decrease of kindness in the world is simply a reflection of the brokenness of love in our homes. A world-wide revival can happen, but it begins at our address. Before we can love strangers, we must first love well the people we know the best. Our goal should be kindliness (in thought, word, and deed) toward our family members. Because when our home is loving, kindness will overflow from our four walls into this hurting world.
Imagine with me, what if every house decided that they would love fiercely, passionately, selflessly, and unconditionally the people in their own homes? What if we, regardless of skin color, lifestyle, or religion, offered that same love to the people living next door, down the street, across the county?
We wouldn’t take sides. We would come together… weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice. As a whole, we would drive out fear with love. It can happen, but it starts in the home… my home and your home.
Sounds simple enough, right? The problem, for me, is that I am selfish and critical. My expectations and motives often seek my good first. For instance, this weekend I gave my husband the silent treatment because he expressed his opinion and I disagreed with it. If I can’t even be kind to the man I vowed to love the most, of course, I will have a shortage of kindness for others.
There is a shortage of kindness in this world, but I don’t want my marriage to follow suit.
Many years ago, when Jason was about to begin his residency, my dad gave me some advice. He said, ” I know Jason treats you well. Now I’m telling you, be good to him. He’s going to go to work every day and get his butt kicked. Make sure he doesn’t come home to the same atmosphere.” Some days I’m good at remembering his advice, and other days I conveniently forget it. However, Jesus himself says,
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. ~ Mark 12:30-31
Who is our closest neighbor? Our husbands. Kindness and love begin with them. Jesus goes on to say,
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. ~ Matthew 5:44
Hopefully, none of us would say that our husbands are our enemies or are persecuting us, but if we are to love and pray for those people, then we have no excuse not to be loving and praying for our husbands just because they say something we disagree with or are on our nerves.
I’m wanting a kinder world which means I must be a kinder wife.
How can you be kinder to your husband this week?