Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. —Ephesians 4:32
How did you do yesterday with the dare to be patient? I agree, it’s not so easy to be patient. There are so many misunderstandings that can occur during deployment because communication might be random, sketchy, incomplete, and just not always “saying” what we want to say because of the pressures of the mission. But practicing patience day-by-day builds maturity and will bear fruit—we have God’s word on that.
Today the dare involves an act of kindness. Here is what the authors have to say during the chapter writing, “Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many of the other attributes we will discuss are built.” (p.6)
This second chapter in The Love Dare (perhaps you’ve ordered your book by now or have gotten one at the book store) goes on to say that kindness is gentle, helpful, willing to work on challenges together, and takes initiative. Think back—was kindness one of the qualities that attracted you to your spouse in the first place? The book reminds us, “It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness.” (p.8)
Here is today’s dare during deployment: In addition to making sure that you communicate nothing negative or hurtful to your spouse today, add at least one unexpected demonstration of kindness. Because you are separated by distance, something as simple as a kind word can be an act of kindness. Can you think of one thing for which to compliment your spouse? For example: “Thank you for taking care of things at home. You do a great job,” or “Thank you for defending our country. You’re doing a great job.” Even if you think your act of kindness might be met with suspicion, do it anyway.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. — Proverbs 3:3,4
An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up. — Proverbs 12:25
A kindhearted woman gains respect . . — Proverbs 11:16
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. — 1 Thessalonians 5:15
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)