It’s so easy to for us to put on our kind face and caring attitude when we put on our nice clothes and dress up to go out. But what about when we are at home? So often the anger monster, the critical comments and lack of compassion comes out behind the closed doors of home. We would never treat a friend, customer, boss or co-worker the way we treat our family sometimes. We wouldn’t even dream of saying some of the things we say to our children to someone else’s child right?
The family value of kindness is important because it brings the atmosphere of Heaven into our homes. Practicing kindness brings joy into the home which makes it a place the angels want to dwell and where the Holy Spirit is welcome. The virtuous woman as described in Proverbs 31 is one who “opens her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness”. And for the gentlemen, don’t think you’ll be left out. Proverbs 31 does apply to you as well, however Colossians 3:12 also says, “Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Kindness is easily demonstrated through our actions and words when things are going well but what happens when your child does the very thing you told them not to 20 million times? I know for me it’s difficult. The members of my family can be just plain irritating sometimes. Do I have a witness? But then I can also be Irritating for them too. Our God is so patient, loving and kind even when we are undeserving and make the same mistakes over and over again. Who am I to ever think I have the right to treat others less then He has treated me. For parents, this does not absolve the need for discipline, but even firmness can be blended with kindness. Too often we respond emotionally to situations without thinking through what we’re doing.
So my best tip for always being kind, even in less than desirable situations is to ‘pause’; practice to pause…That’s it! Make it a habit to pause and say a quick prayer before responding to your loved ones. Pause when you feel your emotions threatening to take over. It’s not a long or uncomfortable pause; just enough time to breathe, send up a prayer and really think about what you need to convey in the moment and the kindest way of doing so; the way God would like you to do it. Like everything else you do, it’s a choice you have to make. Will you choose to pause?
Let’s practice being kindest to those at home. Let us put on the character of Christ as home. Live so that your family can testify about experiencing God’s love through you.