Relationship Builders, Patience and Kindness

Pam and I have worked with struggling marriages for well over twenty years.  Periodically, one of the spouses, almost always an analytical man, will openly say, “I am not sure that I know what love is.”  This usually was followed by disgust from their spouse, however, we always responded, “Actually, that’s a great comment.”  This gave us an opportunity to work through the 15 characteristics of the unselfish love of Christ listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which are fundamental to healthy relationships whether with a spouse, child, family member, friend, associate, even an enemy. 

Today, we start with the dynamic duo of patience and kindness.  To construct a solid, caring relationship, begin with these two characteristics.  Patience and kindness are relationship builders and change agents.  They are very tangible.  When someone is unselfishly patient and kind to you with no expectations of reciprocation, it is noticeable and refreshing.  

Patience is a response not a reaction that once demonstrated gives another person the sense of acceptance and forgiveness.  It allows a person to develop and grow without judgment nor unrealistic expectations.  Patience offered is empowering to its recipient.  It is a safe space presented to another so that that they live in a positive environment to become what God wants them to be.  Patience is a facilitator and encourager.  It builds trust that allows you to give wholesome advice when needed.  You don’t have to worry around a patient person.   Patience is a salve for anxiety.  The following are scriptures that encourage us to be patient to one another:

  • Proverbs 19:11, A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
  • Proverbs 25:15, Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
  • 1 Timothy 1:16, But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

Kindness is selfless and proactive for the good of another whether deserved or not.  It is encouraging and edifying.  Kindness is positive to the eye of the beholder.  Pam and I often see rude and discourteous behavior in homes.  We challenge husbands and wives, dads and mom’s and children to show kindness.  The lives of Christ-followers with Jesus being our model, should be full of kindness.  Notice that Scriptures challenges us to be kind:

  • Colossians 3:12, Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with kindness…
  • Ephesians 2:7, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

Do you want to be a relationship builder?  Start with patience and kindness.

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