25 June 2010

My Personal Kindness Challenge

I am so humbled by all of you who have taken the 90 days of kindness challenge! I have received lots of comments and e-mails about how you have incorporated this into your daily lives and the areas in which you are going to focus your energy. I fear, however, that I have fallen a bit behind in providing you support. I have read every post and e-mail and comment and am so grateful for them and am trying to write you back in meaningful ways. Please trust that I value each and every word you share!

In all my talk of challenging you, I realize that I have not shared my kindness plan, and in all honesty it's in part because it's so hard to put into words.

I find that kindness toward strangers comes fairly easily to me. I love going out of my way to help others as they walk past me on the street, come into my office, and enter and exit my life throughout the day. I am by no means where I need to be in my efforts and feel called to extend this kindness in more intentional ways to those in the community who are struggling.

There is an area, however, where I fall short most of the time. There is a person that I sometimes have little patience for. The times when I lose my temper the most, hold grudges, put myself first, and bring up faults has to do with the most valued, trusted, and loved person in my life: my husband.

Writing those words just makes me want to crawl under a rock for fear of being thought of as the most horrible wife in the world. But why is it so easy to show strangers kindness when I struggle to show kindness to the most important person in the world?

Before I go to bed I pray that God will help me become the wife that he calls me to be. That he will show me how to love my husband with the love of Jesus. That he will take away my impatience, my selfishness, my stubbornness, because it's all there. All that ugly stuff of a sinner is there.

These things do not come out for lack of love for my husband. I love him more and more every day. I love him so much that it hurts to think of ever spending one day apart from him. But throughout my daily life, my responsibilities at work and to my students, I often find that when I get home in the evening, my energy is gone, my kindness is used up, and all I have for him are the "leftovers." The frustrations that I can't tell my colleagues, I often let out on him. The impatience that I've had throughout the day comes out on him. And I hate that I do this.

For the next 90 days (or the next forever perhaps?) I want to focus my energy on treating my husband the way he deserves to be treated. He is the head of our family, the king of our household, the one God called to be a leader in every way.

"Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24

The word "submit" used to give me the willies, but I think God has been softening my heart through marriage. This book also helped. As a follower of Christ, I don't get to pick and chose which parts of the bible sound good and which don't. If I believe in the words of Jesus, that he is my savior and died for my sins, and that he is coming back some day, then I sure better believe that I need to submit to my husband.

Ephesians calls me to respect my husband unconditionally, as in without conditions- not after he does the dishes, or takes out the garbage, or does the budget, but always. This is hard for me, and it is one of many elements I want to focus on through this challenge.

So there you have it...that was a lot of words. I hope you don't think less of me for not always being kind to my husband. I swear I love him. I do! But I can always love him more, the way Christ loves me.



  1. I enjoyed reading this. I am glad I am not the only one who struggles with being kind to the H. It's just so hard because you see that person allllll the time! Ya know? I'm planning to post an update in the next few days. I'll let you know when I do.
    By the way, I posted an award for you on my blog!

  2. Lovely post. I agree. Kindness to stranger seems to come easy. It is those that are closest, that we become blinded to, because they are always there.

    I must confess I'm struggling a little with my challenge. And it's because, as you said, life happens, and by the time I get to see my husband, he basically gets the leftovers of my time and energy.

  3. Laura,
    Of course we don't think anything less of you. We are all sinners and I just think it is wonderful those of us here are making a conscious effort to work a little harder at being a little better. I'd like to think I was always a kind person, but like you, I'm a sinner too. I will say, your kindness challenge has given me a new mantra and I do feel I have made extra steps to go above and beyond what I normally would do. I'll be writing another post in the next few days regarding my kindness journey challenge. I'll let you know when it is up.

  4. Hey I'm from the Friendly Friday Blog hop and I'm your newest follower. Your blog looks great, I defenitly look forward to reading your blog. When you get a chance you should stop by my blog and follow me back! Thanks!


  5. It's funny that you posted this today. Check out my post today for a similar sentiment. I think we all struggle with being kind to the people we love the most!

  6. Am from India. a stay at home mom and girl i struggle just like you do...to be kinder and sweeter to the love of my life;)i'm glad you made this post, made me feel a little less miserable about myself. it took me the whole of the first year of our marriage to understand and to finally learn to 'SUBMIT":) lets keep up the kindness challenge to our dearest hubby's. your newest follower from FFF. do visit my blog

  7. Hi Laura, I so can identify me with your story... left overs of kindness... It was just what I did not have words for, my crumpyness end snatching to the kids and my hubby!
    God has given us such great husbands!
    This winter i was at a conference where I went with 2 women of our church. It was Nancy beach that has spoken there. she also got right into my heart with the words she had been spoken. God answered my prayers... I have a lot of leadership capabilities in me, but my husband is the head of our family...
    Nancy struggled with that part also. But one thing that landed in my soul was that she told:"God did not make mistakes when He gave pople their gifts! He gave you leadership... than He did NOT mistaken!
    Nancy has also written a great book! She is such an inspiration!
    Thank you and God bless you in your family and chiurch and God bless this blog to sread His awesome and true word!

    Love in Christ,


  8. Laura,
    I could have written those exact words. I also find it easy to be extra kind to strangers, help my friends when they need it most, but give my husband the "leftovers" (if there are any). I know that I probably don't always show the kindness to my kids that they deserve either. I am right there with you. It took me a long time after we were married to remember that I wasn't in things alone anymore, and sometimes I still forget that. My husband is a communicator (and I am not) so it hurts him even more when I am not talking/sharing/showing kindness. I think when I have expectations of how things are going to go is when it's the worst. So maybe LESS expectations, MORE kindness! Thanks for the post!

  9. Thank you. I Needed to read that at this moment in time.

    Nice to meet you!!


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