Saturday, February 17, 2007

Do You Obey The Law Of Kindness?

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26

I was looking back at a brief article I wrote for Jesus Cafe entitled, " The Law of Kindness: A Standard for Christian Mothers." I wrote this piece way back in April of the year 2000. At that time, my kids were quite small. I had an 8 month old baby, a 3 yr. old, a 5 yr. old, a 7 yr. old and and almost 10 yr. old. Even back then I pondered whether or not I was the kind of mother and wife who would bring honor to God, even in my exhaustion.

The first question I asked in the article was, "Are You Kind to Your Family? I know that may seem like a silly question to some of you. But, seriously, take a look at how you treat your kids, your spouse, your friends. Are you more kind to your friends than your family?"

I had the opportunity a couple years ago to speak to the women at our former church as they hosted a mother / daughter breakfast. When the senior pastor asked me what I'd be talking about, I responded that my topic was for mothers to treat their children as enemies. He laughed, then asked me to explain. Here's a brief synopsis, spoken not as one who has achieved, but as one who aspires to walk in this way.

Jesus said, "But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil." Luke 6:35.

I don't know about your family, but certainly there are times when I see unthankful and even evil behavior from my children. If God is kind even when this behavior is displayed, would not His daughter also be well-advised to do so, too?

I figure if we are to love, bless, do good to, and pray for our enemies... those who hate us and use us, then wouldn't it also be preferable to treat our families this way, even if they are occasionally acting like our enemies?

Oh yeah, and we, too, were once enemies of God. (Colossians 1:21)

No doubt it takes a great deal of self control to act like the adult and do the right thing even when our kids are having issues, or our marriages are struggling. But, I have noticed that when it really counts, like when I get pulled over by a police officer, or when a friend calls in the middle of some conflict here, I can have extreme self control and behave in a way that is courteous and even-tempered.

Is the law of kindness on your tongue? Do you tend to be kind? Don't know? Then sit down with 1 Corinthians 13, and replace in your mind your name with the word love.

Mom is patient.
Mom is kind.
Mom isn't envious.

You get the idea. If you cannot say these things about yourself, or better yet, if your kids or husband cannot truthfully say these things about you, then it's time to hit the prayer closet. It seems to me that this work must first be done in one's heart before it can come out of one's mouth, or be evident by one's attitude, tone of voice, or facial expressions. Pray and ask the Lord to help you. Ask Him to give you a heart of love and gratitude for those whom He's given you for this brief season of time called "life". Ask the Holy Spirit to show you ways in which you can show the law of kindness to your kids, and your spouse.

Periodically check these things: your tone of voice, your facial expressions, your attitude, your timing. Ask your husband for some ideas on ways in which you can show kindness to him. He will think you're crazy at first, but be persistent. Ask your kids for ideas, too, individually. You may be surprised at what they interpret as kindness. Ask God to help you be a living testimony of His kindness in your own mission field - your home. It is not impossible to be a joyful mother of children (Psalm 113:9)

Kindness - it's the law! Are you obeying the law?

4 comments:

  1. Ouch! Definitely worth mulling over.

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  2. Really good thoughts. so true, we can often get into the habit of taking our family for granted and then stop being kind. We should never be nicer to others than to our loved ones at home. Your use of 1 Cor. 13 really gives me something to ponder daily.

    I am new to your blog, and I am enjoying my visit!

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  3. What you say is so true!

    I have a friend who speaks so gently to her children that I have taken her as a role model; I model my tone after her and suggest that our friends with more frustrating home lives than mine do the same.

    Sometimes we forget that we can enjoy our children. How can that ever be?

    And, just so that you know that I know that I don't have it all together, I confess conviction on the "Mom isn't envious" count. I'll have to meditate on it, but right now it's not looking pretty.

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  4. Great stuff! I often have considered the way we moms will be 'yelling' at the kids, the phone rings, and we answer it 'Hello...I'm great, how are you...' etc. in a sweet tone of voice. Anyhow, I need the reminder to be KIND! Also I appreciate your laid back schedule ideas.

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