Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Let Kindness and Generosity Define Your Marriage

Divorce is very common today, even among Christians. An interesting article that was not even written by a Christian wrote that social scientists have discovered, "Contempt, they have found, is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it's not there." I can say this was certainly true in our marriage.

Sadly, for the first 23 years of our marriage, I had contempt towards Ken. I was always upset with him about something. I failed to look at all of his great qualities and instead dwelt upon all of his faults instead and how he wasn't meeting my "perceived" needs as I wrote about yesterday. It made for a very contentious marriage. I also see this in most of the women I mentor who are in difficult marriages. They have contempt for their husbands. Their husbands never live up to their expectations so they are usually upset and angry with them. They have also been trying the Husband Transformation Strategy for a long time and it isn't working for them either.

I remember one day very clearly. I was watching Ken's sister and her husband in the kitchen. They were so tender and kind towards each other. I so wished our marriage was like theirs. I thought she must be married to the perfect husband! Little did I know that my contempt towards Ken and how I thought he should act were ruining my chance of having a happy marriage.

The article's conclusion is that kindness is the glue that holds couples together. It is always a bit amusing to me when science concludes what the Bible teaches, Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you {Ephesians 4:32}. I Corinthians 13, the great love chapter, explains the definition of love as being patient and kind. You aren't being patient and kind towards your husband if you are manipulating him, always upset with him or trying to control him.

The article concludes with these words  ~

For the hundreds of thousands of couples getting married each June - and for the millions of couples currently together, married or not - the lesson from the research is clear: If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often.

In most marriages, levels of satisfaction drop dramatically within the first few years together. But among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.

In conclusion, women, obey God. Love your husband. 
God's definition of love is to be patient and kind!