Today’s broadcast has me thinking a lot about one of my favorite verses in the Bible. In Romans 2:4, Paul tells us that it’s “God’s kindness that leads us to repentance.” That verse reminds me of how I ought to conduct myself toward others.
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 act as 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 on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Changing Your Marriage Through the Power of Kindness” 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 opens your eyes to your own negative behavior, which could 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 your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.
Shaunti’s book The Kindness Challenge: Thirty Days to Improve Any Relationship is available for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.
Beth Irons says
-Have been in codependent relationships for the past 15 years at least. Have been making great strides over the past year, but eyes opening to all the pain I have caused along the way, and the weakening of what should otherwise be healthier relationships. God has been speaking to my heart about holding my tongue on some “constructive criticism” , always meant to teach, that my teens only see as my being an invasive, cruel, always negative and condemning. And I have started to hear in my own mind, how I come across to them. So I can see how this 30 day challenge would be amazing for several reasons. So I am taking it on, thank you for your broadcast today!