After 26 years I’ve gotten used to his body language.
I can tell when this man is in a great mood, and I can also tell when something heavy is on his mind. I know when he’s happy, and I know when he’s mad. He doesn’t have to say a word for me to read him. In fact he doesn’t even have to turn and face me. I sense the mood.
It was everything, from the way he carried his body, to the swiftness of each step that moved me to ask him, “Is something wrong, Michael?”
“You even have to ask?!” he replied. “After the way you spoke to me earlier, you shouldn’t be surprised at all that I’m angry.”
I sat there for a minute thinking about a conversation we had just an hour before. It wasn’t that I was rude–at least I didn’t think so… I had simply expressed the fact that I was disappointed. We had just come back from a gathering during which time we barely spoke two words to each other.
Pulled in two different directions he spent time with the guys and I with the girls. I understand that this happens a lot. And I certainly don’t expect Michael to walk a three-legged race with me, but barely two words? When I go out with my husband, I want to spend time with him.
Here’s the thing. We’re two different people who communicate in two different ways. And I will admit that my “expression” can be a little negative at times. It’s one thing to communicate, and it’s another to nag which is something I’m still working on.
“Mom,” Madison looked over at me, “aren’t you going to go say something to him?”
In other words, my daughter was pointing out the fact that it was time for me to put on a cloak of kindness. Smart girl.
Kindness is a virtue. It doesn’t come easy to us unless we exercise that area of our life. It’s more than simply a desire to do good to others, it’s the behavior itself. Sometimes it calls us to sacrifice our pride, sometimes it calls us to walk in courage, and other times it requires both.
Kindness doesn’t sit around analyzing a situation to determine whether this person is right or that person is wrong. Kindness is a charitable gift–it reaches out to those in need.
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. – Colossians 3:12-13
See that? “If any man have a quarrel against any…” This is a good go to verse for couples, isn’t it?
Whether it’s easy or not, we are commanded in scripture to put on kindness. We’re commanded to be compassionate people because that’s Who our Savior is.
We must exercise courage when it comes to love. And we have to destroy pride before it destroys us.
I often talk about pride, because it’s one of the most destructive forces in a marriage. Pride is self-focused. We need to get Christ-focused if we want to love well.
There’s no room for kindness in a heart full of pride. Pride says, “I’m important.” Humility says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30).
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
P.S. I did put on a cloak of kindness, and I did go down to the man cave to see Michael. And just so you know… one kiss on the forehead had him asking, “So what do you want to do today.”