Over the summer, my parents celebrated 60 years of marriage. Congrats Mom and Dad! 1958 was a little while back! I am so happy for them. My family gathered for a fun time to let them know how thankful we are for them and this testament to their love and commitment. I am mindful of the truth of the Bible as it says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
There is no question that milestones like these, ones that really stand out, should drive us to step back and ask questions. How did they do this? I am simply trying to live to be 60, let alone be married for 60. Are they really happy? Are they simply just driven, or have an extra measure of grit? Are they really in love? How do you even describe love at a 60th anniversary?
But I think it is best to simply keep this post focused on one key success factor for marriage. A key factor that I have seen displayed for my 47 of their 60 years of marriage. A key factor that to me becomes more precious everyday personally, in my marriage and in ministry. A key factor that when absent leaves relationship and interactions lacking or worse, deteriorating. Kindness. Be kind.
Kindness speaks to others’ needs before my needs. Kindness speaks to being slow to anger. Kindness speaks to respect. Kindness speaks to bold tenderness. Kindness speaks to being steady – even keeled. Kindness speaks to care with words and deeds. Kindness speaks to forgiveness.
The Bible says:
“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32
Kindness defined – “the quality of being warmhearted, considerate, humane, gentle, and sympathetic.” (logos)
I have shared through the years with couples the x-factor to displaying kindness. Here’s the thing. You can’t work this up. You can’t simply try harder at being kind. It really doesn’t work well. Sure some people have gentle temperaments etc., I understand. But, here’s what I have seen. I have seen mean people have their heart tenderized by the Lord Jesus. He moves in, takes over. Simply, He becomes Lord of their life.
It is not normal for people to display “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.” It literally involves a take-over, a remodel that reminds you and me that at our best, we are still fixer-uppers. But a life displaying the fruit of the Spirit shows evidence that He is alive and well in us.
*Disclaimer – Reality Check
Listen, life is hard, people are difficult, plus you don’t always feel good or like everyone all the time. You will not be perfect, you will need to back up and ask for forgiveness, or pray for a do over. Sin. But, the point is, there is a way, there is a path and even a standard that we can at least aspire to. Am I even trying? Do I address a problem by focusing on the other person, or on myself? I read recently, “I am not kind to others because they are, but because I am.”
Mom and Dad, thanks for displaying kindness. I love you and I thank the Lord for you and I pray he blesses you with many more years filled with joy.
Thanks for hanging out on the blog with me. I am grateful! If you desire to dig deeper in your relationship, check out some of these encouraging people: