"Love is Kind"
"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."
How did you do yesterday with patience? I agree, it's not so easy to be patient. There are so many misunderstandings that can occur during deployment because communication might be random, sketchy, incomplete, and just not always "saying" what we want to say because of the pressures of the mission. But practicing patience day-by-day builds maturity and will bear fruit - we have God's word on that.
But Today involves an act of kindness. "Kindness is love in action. If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive. These two sides of love are the cornerstones on which many of the other attributes are being built."
Kindness is gentle, helpful, willing to work on challenges together, and takes initiative. Think back - was kindness one of the qualities that attracted you to your wife in the first place? "It is difficult to demonstrate love when you feel little to no motivation. But love in its truest sense is not based on feelings. Rather, love determines to show thoughtful actions even when there seems to be no reward. You will never learn to love until you learn to demonstrate kindness."
In addition to making sure that you communicate nothing negative or hurtful to your wife today, add at least one unexpected demonstration of kindness. Something as simple as a kind word can be an act of kindness. Can you think of one thing for which to compliment your wife? For example: "Thank you for taking care of things at home. You do a great job", or "Thank you for taking care of our children. You're doing a great job". Even if you think your act of kindness might be met with suspicion, do it anyway.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. (Proverbs 3:3,4)
An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25)
A kindhearted woman gains respect . . (Proverbs 11:16)
Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."
What do you want the outcome of your journey to produce? The concept of this journey is much more than just saving your marriage. It comes from the idea of pursuing something of substance and being intentional and purposeful. Spiritually speaking, the journey is moving from the thinking pattern of "what can I do", to "what can God do through me"? This journey bears within it the weightiness of design, purpose, and intention. Today's passage from Ephesians ties the idea of your inheritance to God's purpose and will. Your Journey is a very practical expression of this concept because it paves the way for spiritual change in your life and your family's life. Only as you begin the journey and living in God's purpose for your life can you leave a legacy of righteousness and the purposes of God for your children and others who come after you!
Prayer: Father, I know that Your purpose for my life doesn't end with me. Help me to live with an understanding of purpose that transcends my own life. Lead my family to prepare for the generations to come, that they will thrive and flourish in our home as a result of my willingness to go on this journey and live it out. Amen.
Scripture For Today: Joshua 3 ... Every worthwhile journey requires faith. The waters of the Jordan didn't recede until after they Israelites set foot in the river. How does this account apply to the start of your spiritual journey? Is there a "Jordan" in your life that He wants you to cross? In what ways might God be requiring you to step into the floodwaters by faith?