Killing Your Spouse with Kindness

I watched “War Room” this week with my mom and sister (at my mom’s request for her birthday girl’s only hangout). It was a good movie with fairly good acting, funny and touching moments, and above all, a good message. I came away with two reminders: one, that prayer is powerful and it works(!), and two, that marriages can be torn down by a single word.

The movie starts out with a husband and wife who do what husbands and wives do on occasion – they fight. With furrowed brows and clenched fists, they exchange mean words, throw around accusations and blame, and retreat to their own corners till the next match. Every time they open their mouths, you know what comes out is not going to be pretty. And with each word they spew, the tension on the screen grows and grows until you wonder if the characters’ relationship will soon be irreparable. 🙁

But through a series of events and the not-so-by-chance help of an older, prayerful woman (she’s a fun actress to watch!), the wife starts changing her ways. The change comes slowly, but surely, as she renews her love for her husband and begins praying for him. Her heart softens to the point where she no longer has anything negative to say to him (or about him). Her words and attitude toward him are so different that at one point he wonders if she secretly poisoned his meal, and switches dinner plates with her when she’s not looking. 😛 And with time, God answers the wife’s prayers and works in the husband’s life and heart to soften him up, too. I won’t spoil the ending, but you can probably guess that it’s a happy one.

Now I don’t profess to have a perfect marriage (hubby can vouch for that!), but one thing I do appreciate about our relationship is the courtesy we extend toward one another. Oh, we have our share of disagreements and messy moments that require lots of forgiveness and humility to move past, but most of the time, we try to be kind with our words. Because we know that words have the power to heal or destroy. As in the words of Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

It’s amazing what a simple  “please” or “thank you” can do to soften your spouse’s heart. Or what the simple act of willingly getting out of a warm, cozy bed to go downstairs to stick the wet clothes in the dryer means to the spouse who gets to stay in the warm, cozy bed (thank you, Honey! :D). It’s just plain and simple courtesy, but when each word and act of kindness are added together, they can produce a mutually respectful and loving marriage.

All it takes is one kind word or one kind gesture to tip the scale toward kindness. And it just takes one person to start. So let’s be that one person. 🙂

P.S. I’m adding this picture as a reminder to myself of one way I can be kind to hubby, by making him breakfast. It’s something his mom used to make for him when he was a kid. 1 hot dog + 2 eggs = 100%. It was meant to be an encouragement to do well in school. So Asian, I know! 😉

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Here’s proof that your kind gesture doesn’t have to look pretty! Haha

Here’s Selena Gomez’s song, “Kill ‘Em with Kindness”. There’s some good whistling in the song, too.

How can you share kindness with your spouse or a family member today?

There’s No One Youer Than You

The kiddos, being as observant as they are, have come to a conclusion about who is the better driver in our family. Both E and C have said, “I want Mama to teach me how to drive and Baba to teach me how to park.”

I think you can guess which person has never gotten a moving violation in her life. 😉 Hubby, on the other hand, exhibits PTSD symptoms every time he sees a police car in the rearview mirror.

But now, why do the kids want hubby to teach them how to park? It might have something to do with the fact that other cars have been known to get in my way when I try to squeeze my car in between those white painted lines on the ground. Yes, I’ve had to on more than one occasion leave a friendly, apologetic note on someone’s windshield. (Feel free to not park next to me if we’re ever in the same lot; I won’t be offended.) 🙂

I’m fine with admitting I have faulty spatial skills because I know it’s true. This is why I would rather park in a nice open space a few blocks away from my destination than choose a tight one close by and pose a risk to any surrounding vehicles. And also why I don’t mind giving hubby the chance to show off his awesome parallel parking skills whenever possible.

All this talk about who is the better driver/parker got me thinking one day. I think there’s something to be said about knowing what you’re not good at, and even more, to know what you are good at. I’m not talking about being prideful or boastful about your abilities, but about being content and thankful. Understanding your strengths and the particular ways in which God has made you unique is actually a step towards freedom. Freedom to stop trying to be someone you’re not, and freedom to just be you.

For me, this means accepting that I am an introvert, that I can write twice as many words as I will ever speak, and I love to listen. This means I am okay with being quiet and needing to have my “cave time” to recharge. This means that while I admire talkative, life-of-the-party people, I don’t have to feel inferior to them. Everyone is different, but equally needed. After all, how would extroverts ever survive without us introverts (and vice versa)? 🙂

This reminds me of a quote by Dr. Seuss:

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What a good reminder! There is no one else who is like you. Out of the billions of people who have walked this earth, there is no one youer than you. So, be YOU and enjoy it! 😀

Check out the song, “Who Says” by Selena Gomez & The Scene that talks about not wanting to be anyone but you.

What makes you happy and thankful to be you?

P.S. Here are some funny sayings I found about introverts that are so true. Anyone else agree with me? 😉

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