Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Your Kindness

Kindness. 
Is that the one word people would use to describe me? 

I asked some of my children.
They had some nice answers, but "kind" was not one of them.
I am not surprised. 
I know that is something the Lord is teaching me about.
It could become the word for the year.
Kindness is one of the qualities that God cherishes in women.

  In Titus 2, the older women are to teach the younger women,
"to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home,
good,
obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed." 

The word "good", is also translated, "kind".
I am learning about this word
and what it should look like displayed in my life.

  In Carolyn Mahaney's book, Feminine Appeal,
the vision to be kind and good is clearly stated in a way that struck me with awe.
Kindness, she says, "is a sincere desire for the happiness of others,
while goodness is the activity calculated to advance that happiness."
  She goes on to say that anger, bitterness and judging hinder our ability to be kind.  
Exhibiting one of these sinful behaviors shows that
I am choosing my way as more important than glorifying God.  
Ouch!

 I know for certain that if I desire to become a woman who has a reputation for being kind, 
it will need to be God at work in me. 
I need Him to take over, so that His kindness is manifested in me.
  This can only happen if I get myself out of the way. 
Less of me, more of Him.

Scripture tells women that we are to be known for our good works:  1 Timothy 2:9-10,
" In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel,
with self control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
but with what is proper for women who profess godliness, with good works."

God values our kindness
above our standard of living, our hobbies, our talents and abilities.  
The example of Edith Schaeffer stands before us,
a woman who made her homemaking a blessing to others
and used it to advance the Kingdom of God through....her cinnamon buns! 
It is said of her that, "As many people were brought to the Lord 
through Mrs. Schaeffer's cinnamon buns as through Dr. Schaeffer's sermons." 
Now that is a reputation to strive for!

It's your kindness then, as a woman,
that fills the home to the brim with nurturing and happiness,
and pours forth from the home doors in good works to the neighbors and community beyond,
giving them a taste of a little bit of heaven.

In daily living,
I see this as meaning kindly greeting, listening, encouraging
and praying for/with our family-first,
and then others,
because we desire their happiness 
and giving glory to God 
as more important than our own wants.

Kindness demands a humble, forgiving heart,
a mind thoughtful of others. 
It involves servant hearted actions that are pure,
not requiring affirmation or boosts in self significance.
A kind woman is generous and warm hearted. 
She does not grow grasping and selfish, but is a ministering angel to those about her.  
The virtue of kindness is often overlooked as not so important as say, 
an industrious, beautiful, or engaging woman, 
but, in truth, is perhaps 
The Most Important quality
a wife and mother should possess.


5 comments:

commontask said...

Julianne,
We've been enjoying your blog since Scott sent us your way. I had to smile when I read your post this morning...we must be musing over the same things. I,too, have been thinking much about cultivating kindness in my own heart and home.
Blessings,
Lisa

PS You might enjoy my girls' blog as well http://ourspareoom.wordpress.com

Rachel said...

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I am continually convicted by what you write and it makes me strive to be more in the word and more of a godly woman. Kindness is an area I struggle with as well. I am super efficient and organized but tend to lose out when kindness is called for rather than order.
I also enjoy reading about your family. I would love to have had more babies. I birthed my first at age 40 (after struggling for years) and so I am a little envious of your huge brood. We also have 2 children that we adopted so our family is medium size. It is exactly what God's plan is for us so I am content with that. Take care, and God Bless,
Rachel

Anonymous said...

Julianne,

Thank you for being the inspiration that you are. I don't even know you personally, but through your blog, I have found peace during the storms of my life. Your quiver-full is an example of God's ever abundant love for each of us. Please continue to share your eloquent musings and pictoral glimpses of a simpler life and rest in the comfort that this aspect of your kindness is very much appreciated.

-Nina

Julianne said...

Lisa,
I had a nice visit to your blog. I adore the picture of the tea cups, I believe we have some of the same patterns, but probably much more than that in common. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.
blessings,
Julianne

Finding Balance mommy said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I was having a slightly rough morning with the kids and this was such a wonderful reminder that God has called me to KINDNESS! I really appreciate your words of encouragement.