How about if we try kindness? I see way too much of short-tempers and touchiness. I see too many relationships which ought to be, and could be, heaven on earth, but which fall far short. I have to watch while one, or both, hurt the other one seeming not to feel any empathy for the pain caused. People taking for granted that they’re going to be treated well while taking for granted the human gift that’s been given to them.
People who just give the other person a world of hurt when they could be enjoying a mutually loving and caring relationship. Offered happiness and unconditional love, we choose our personal agenda. I wonder what could we be thinking?
It’s hard to watch people lower the bar on their own relationship, as though the offender will benefit in any way. If the bar is lowered, it’s going to be lowered for both of you. Or do you mistake forbearance and patience for a lack of feelings? Do you actually think that your partner will take what you dish out, and persevere in holding up his side of the kindness burden alone, forever? You must think an awful lot of him; in fact, you must think he’s not even human. Because any human being is going to get enough of being treated selfishly one day. He will then have three choices: he can decide to diminish so much that he’ll let you pummel him into a doormat whom you won’t respect, or he will decide not to take your crap anymore, and give it back to you. Or he’ll decide that someone else will actually respect him and treat him as though he’s loved.
You say it’s because you can’t respect him? That says nothing whatsoever about him. It only says something about you.
If you can’t respect someone who consistently treats you with kindness, sympathy, patience and hopeful attention, in the face of irritation, selfishness of feelings, and dismissal, and does not return anger for anger…you just aren’t able to respect.
And you are missing the obvious: God has given you an unbelievable gift, one which you ought to treasure, and you are ungrateful.
What if, instead of looking for irritation, putting our personal agendas before other people’s feelings, and imposing on the other person’s patience and love, we decide to be considerate? Just plain polite (even if we don’t actually feel happy about it)? Seek not to hurt them at cost to ourselves? How about if instead of serving our own childish temporary feelings, we decide to serve the people God has chosen to be our companions in life, as we are called to do?
What would we lose?
How about if the law in our houses, from now on, is kindness? What if we adopt a standard that even some non-believers who never set foot in a church are able to pull off?
What if we put kindness and love (verb) first, and make it the going expectation here?
Because love is a shelter against most troubles in life, but no relationship can withstand consistent unkindness.