This was originally posted on September 10, 2009 and can be found here.
My mother used to tell me, "Kindness is always in style." And how true that is. A kind word here, a kind look there can do so much more than we could ever think.
How easy is it to be run down after a day of cleaning, laundry, cooking, diapers, feedings, chauffeuring, homeschooling/homework, dance class, soccer practice, church activities, and whatever else comes up to say an unkind word about one item being left out of place by a husband or child.
Or maybe by the tone of our voice, we make our husband feel like our job in the home is more important or harder than the job he has, which may be the only paying job in the household (as is the case with us).
It is so easy to come across as a little frazzled and short with those in our home when we have had very little sleep because of a sick baby or child, have had to run errands with small children in tow, or feel the frustration of doing a job that is never done, but...
...how careful we are not to treat outsiders that way.
Isn't it even more important to show kindness to those who are around us always, who see the real us at all times? Now I realize that by showing kindness to our families behind closed doors we won't get the praise of others (which is really not that important), but...
...we will leave a lasting impact on our families.
Believe me, I understand the frazzled tiredness that comes with a lack of sleep and not getting the normal chores and goals accomplished. Two weeks ago, I had a sick daughter who woke up crying throughout the night because of an earache (a doctor's visit and the need to sit with my eyes closed for just a minute while being available for my fully functioning 2 year old who got all of his sleep made for a day where nothing was accomplished). However, I am learning every day that regardless of the kind of day that I have had...
...my husband still needs kindness from me. It also helps when I remember that one of the first things that attracted Brian to me (according to him) was that I was kind to him before we ever dated.
Don't even think unkind words or mutter them as you go about your daily chores (very hard to do, I know). What you think and mutter will come out eventually and feel like a poisonous sludge on whoever your words fall upon. You thoughts will also come out in your attitude. If your thoughts have been argumentative towards a certain person, then you will have an argumentative attitude towards those you come in contact with during your day, and kindness will fly out the window.
This my goal for the next week, really thinking about the words I use before I allow them to come out and deciding if the words I am about to use are kind or unkind.
Even when something unpleasant needs to be said, there is always a way to say it in kindness.
Many of the women who work in our children's department at church are also classroom teachers by day. I am always so amazed at how when my first reaction to seeing something would most likely be "NOOO!!!" in hopes of stopping Child A from whacking Child B with a frying pan from the play kitchen set, one of them would actually approach the situation with, "Why don't we put this down and find something else to play with. That might hurt Child B and make him cry. You wouldn't want that, would you?" These ladies leave me in awe.
It will not always be easy, but that is what makes this kind of challenge so rewarding in the end.