Today’s broadcast has me thinking a lot about one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It reminds me of how I ought to conduct myself in the name of Christ. In Romans 2:4, Paul tells us that it’s “God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.”
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit – an expression of God’s nature through us – and one of the most powerful tools for Christians who wish to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world around them.
But what distinguishes kindness from simply being nice? And what difference can kindness really make in our relationships, particularly our marriages?
We’ll answer those questions and others today with popular author, speaker, and social researcher Shaunti Feldhahn. She says kindness is actually the combination of three separate things:
- Recognizing and eliminating our own negativity.
- Offering our positivity, affirmation, and praise to others.
- Performing acts of kindness toward someone else.
Shaunti and Focus on the Family have partnered together on a project we’re calling the Focus on the Family 30-Day Kindness Challenge. In designing this program, Shaunti worked with more than 700 husbands and wives who routinely employed these three steps in their marriages.
Surveys were taken before and after the challenge. Eighty-nine percent of the participants reported a dramatic reduction in their own negativity and an improvement in the well-being of their marriages.
Kindness is so effective because it is rooted in strength, not weakness. Kindness enables us to speak the truth in love; to proclaim truth boldly, yet with grace; and to stand against injustice instead of remaining silent. Best of all, kindness is an option available to anyone (its full and most pure expression offered is to believers through the fruit of the Spirit).
Exercising kindness doesn’t just benefit the people closest to you, it changes you. It will open your eyes to your own negative behavior that may be hurting the very relationships you’re wanting to heal.
How can the Focus on the Family 30-Day Kindness Challenge make a difference in your marriage? Join us for our conversation with Shaunti Feldhahn on today’s radio program, “Changing Your Marriage Through the Power of Kindness.” You can hear us on your local radio station, at your own convenience online, or by downloading our free phone app.