To accurately define love we must go to the source – God’s Word. Here is where we’ll find the definition we NEED to hear, not just WANT to hear.
1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient and kind…”
What motivates kindness in marriage? The answer we give reveals whether our kindness is genuine or self-serving. True kindness takes no regard for how it is received; for kindness that is real flows from a heart that longs to please God, not man. It has no strings attached.
A perfect example is found in the classic movie, Gone With The Wind. Melanie personified this fruit of the Spirit. She constantly thought of others as more important than herself. She truly loved, so she was truly kind.
On the other hand, Scarlet O’Hara gives us a clear picture of what kindness that is disingenuous looks like. She would say what she perceived others wanted to hear, only because she was trying desperately to get her own way.
Now consider marriage – I have a fresh example from this morning; (how like God to give me an opportunity to practice what we’re talking about here on the blog.) as Tom was getting ready to leave for work, I wanted to talk with him about something important to me. I started to dive into the conversation when I realized Tom was distracted. Rather than plow through regardless, I stopped and asked him if he had time to listen…he honestly didn’t. He suggested we talk tonight, and then added, “Could you make me some breakfast to go?”
Selfishness would say, “Ugh! You’re not going to listen to me AND you want me to make you breakfast? Hmph!”
Today was one of those days when I chose be kind – maybe it was because I knew I was going to be writing this post! 🙂 But for whatever reason, God in His kindness to me (He is always kind although I don’t deserve it), helped me to be kind to Tom.
This is how we practice – moment by moment in the little choices we make.
Left to ourselves we would never choose genuine kindness, but God has given us a way of escape from our selfish and manipulative ways.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, and since we are cultivating our own Romantic Vineyard, let’s purpose to fertilize this fruit. I hear it makes the best wine when crushed!