On Monday, we talked about some stress strategies we use when life gets busy, complicated, and over-scheduled. Often, even if our lives are filled with good things—God-ordained things—we can still find ourselves frayed at the edges when we don't allow space for other God-ordained things, like rest and fun.
It was in my quiet time when God showed me that I needed to not be consumed by what I need in the moment. This self-focus seems only to grow bitterness and resentment when Craig doesn't meet those needs. It's easy for Craig to fall in the same trap.
God showed me that if we could simply take a breath and turn our eyes outward, if we could remember that God joined us together as a team, perhaps we could consider that, though we are frayed, we can mend each other, that God might give us the capacity to be filled as we fill.
It's a team. One team. So what you do to the benefit to the team, you naturally reap the benefit as a member of that team.
I'm sure, not coincidently, this is why we happened upon the Kindness Challenge created by Shaunti Feldhan. In her research, she found that 89% of relationships who took on this challenge saw improvement.
Sounds to me like those are pretty good odds that if you practice kindness in your marriage, your marriage will be better.
What is the Kindness Challenge?
Three things to remember to do every day can be overwhelming. I get it. But don't let that stop you from trying. There is grace! This is not about being perfect. This is about being intentional. For some reason, being kind to the person you love the most can be hard. Often times, your spouse is the one person you feel safe showing your ugly side. But when you give into your flesh and allow yourself to be be, well, fleshy (i.e. selfish, rude, etc.), you're not just hurting your partner. You're hurting your team. You're hurting you.
I love this verse in Ephesians 5. Even though Paul is specifically referencing husbands here, it totally applies to wives, too:
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
If you decide to take on this challenge, we would love it if you kept us updated. We will for sure be letting you know how our challenge is going, too!
Here's the link to the website Shaunti created about the Kindness Challenge. Just click here.
You can even sign up to receive daily emails that give you reminders, tips, and encouragement! There is also a kindness assessment you can take to help you see where you already exude kindness and spots where you can work a little bit, too. (I need to work on my negativity. Just keeping it real here, folks.)
Look for our video on Sunday on our Facebook page to check into see how we're doing! Let us know if you have any questions, too!