I was listening to KSBJ, a local christian radio station the other day and an interview of a 98 and 100 year old couple, who had been married for 78 years came up. During the interview, they were asked the secret to being married for so long and they replied with "...there's no magic ingredient, just be nice to each other".
That really struck me, because what they said was very basic, like just be nice, really??? hmm. Well I've come to learn from my own experiences, that love alone, in the way that society talks about it, doesn't keep a relationship and that there are so many other factors that go into making relationships work. One thing that has really worked consistently, for Femi and I, is intentionally being KIND.
Now you are probably wondering why kind? Although incorrect, we've heard love is pain but; never have I heard kindness being associated with something negative and never have I seen genuine kindness bring forth something unpleasant. Just being plain kind hearted can be applied to every relationship out there, be it with spouses, friends, family, coworkers you name it. Kindness always works, you ever heard the term kill em with kindness? It is essentially a way to control the situation, rise above and make people self reflect about how they treat others.
Being kind in our everyday life goes a long way in improving our relationships and genuine simple gestures can open hearts that were seemingly closed. I’ve explored some ways I’ve seen simple acts of kindness melt hearts and change situations.
Doing nice simple things for them even when they don't remember to do it for themselves.
Sometimes we know what our significant other needs even when they don't realize it. Your husband has been coming back from work tired for a while and he seems really stressed out, book him an appointment for a massage. Your wife has been really overwhelmed with all the things she has to get done? Encourage her to go out with her girlfriends or take some things off her plate. Early on in my marriage, I had travelled to another state for work (this was when we still downloaded navigation maps for different states), so I get to the airport, pick up my rental car and then realized that I had forgotten to install the DMV map on my navigation system (Navigon), this meant I would have to find a place with wifi so it could download faster. Annoyed with myself, I get in the car and open the app, lo and behold, maps for D.C, Maryland and Virginia had been installed on there. Knowing I didn't do it, and there was obviously only one other person who could have done that, so I called my husband. I could picture his sheepish smirk on the phone when he said, I knew you wouldn't remember, I did it for you so you didn't have to wait at the airport. And in that moment, he could have asked me for anything and it would have been his. Honestly, I still think about how profound that small gesture was. It made me feel like my significant other thought of things that would make my life easier and did them. It made me feel seen and that is a very important feeling.
He pissed me off, do I still have to be Kind?
Intentionally helping or doing something nice for your spouse when you are in disagreement is a way to tell your significant other; I don’t like you right now but I still care about you. This one is pretty hard because at that point you are just like, I don't care; do whatever you want, but a little gesture can ease a tense situation. For example, a couple got into a disagreement while driving back home. They was pretty pissed at each other , She thought he was wrong, he thought she was wrong, so they both ignored each other. He stopped over at a fast food to buy a Salad and in that moment she remembered that the salad had bacon in it (the hubs didn’t eat bacon). Still being upset, facing the passengers window and thinking for a few seconds, if she wanted to just let him deal with it, she said, let them know you don't want bacon in it. Now, she could have easily ignored him and not said anything, she wouldn't have been technically wrong after-all, he didn't ask for her opinion but honestly, that wouldn't have been the kind the to do. As small as that was, in that moment, She saw beyond the current misunderstanding and showed him that although, she was mad at him and not speaking to him at the moment, she cared about his wellbeing.
Being Kind in our words
Proverbs 16:24 - Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. In a world of shaming and bullying, our words go a long way. Being kind with our words, and not speaking out of spite even while angry shows you care about life after the fight. It’s so easy to lash out and say hateful things when angry, but the more you intentionally suppress those, overtime you realize that your heart questions you when you start to speak in not so kind words. This honestly, I think, is the most important because intentionally uplifting one another goes a long way, it shows you care about their emotional state.
Intentionally being kind can easily become a lifestyle that brings forth beautiful fruits when you apply it.
What are some of the ways you are intentionally kind to your spouse? Have you won the heart of your king by being kind? Did you make that situation better? Have you had instances where you tried being kind, but you don’t think it worked? Meet me in the comments section, let’s chat about it.