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Try a Little Kindness Today

A kind person acts in benevolent, gentle, and loving ways. In marriage, kindness is demonstrated through generous acts, considerate behavior, and comforting words. A kind person usually has a mild and pleasant disposition and acts with tenderness and concern for others. A man who brings his wife flowers as a sign of his love and a woman who strokes her husband’s arm as they watch a movie are acting with kindness.

Kindness is one of the seven virtues, and is considered the opposite of envy. A kind person celebrates another’s good fortune while an envious person grows angry at another’s success.

For example, Marta and Luis both have high stress jobs, but Marta is far more successful at her job than Luis is in his. While this is, at times, a source of tension in their marriage, Marta and Luis recognize the tension and deal with it as adults. Marta tries not to brag about her success and never uses it as a weapon when they argue. She cares about Luis and doesn’t want to hurt his self-esteem. For his part, Luis tries to celebrate Marta’s successes. He struggles at times with feeling that he is not carrying his share of the family responsibility, but because Marta treats him with such kindness, Luis is a happy man.

Kindness comes from the same root as the word “kin,” someone who is a part of your family. Thus, when you show kindness to your spouse, you are treating him or her as a part of your family, as “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23). These words are used at weddings to describe the ideal relationship between husband and wife. This scripture passage makes clear that for marriages to succeed—that is, to be happy and healthy—then couples must treat each other with the same gentleness, courtesy, compassion, and respect that they want for themselves.

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