Are you willing to admit it? We are not always kind to the members of our families, those with whom we share a home. Okay, I will admit it: I don't always use a kind voice when speaking to my children.
The past few years, I have been using the Personal Calendar Journal (the school year version), from Simply Charlotte Mason. I like them, because each month, Sonya Shafer shares some insights from Charlotte Mason, as well as quotes from Charlotte Mason on each weekly spread.
For the month of January this year, she talks about kindness, and it caught my eye, and sent an arrow of conviction to my heart.
The dictionary describes kindness: a state or quality of being kind; the practice of being kind. Kind is defined as of a good or benevolent nature or disposition; having a friendly or generous nature or attitude, helpful to others or to another.
Charlotte Mason described kindness: "The office of Kindness is simply to make everyday life pleasant and comfortable to others." Ouch! Is your home pleasant and comfortable to others? Is my home?
What does the Bible say about being kind and kindness?
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32, KJV.
"What is desired in a man is kindness, And a poor man is better than a liar." Proverbs 19:22, NKJV.
"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26, KJV. Are we women this kind of wife and mother?
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Colossians 3:12-13, KJV.
"Blessed be the Lord: for He hath shewed me His marvellous kindness in a strong city." Psalm 31:21, KJV. "For His merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever. Praise ye the Lord." Psalm 117:2, KJV.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:2-11, KJV.
One of my favorite authors talks about kindness in the home: "It is impossible for any of us to live in such a way that we shall not cast an influence in the world. No member of the family can enclose himself within himself, where other members of the family shall not feel his influence and spirit. The very expression of the countenance has an influence for good or evil. His spirit, his words, his actions, his attitude toward others, are unmistakable. If he is living in selfishness, he surrounds his soul with a malarious atmosphere; while if he is filled with the love of Christ, he will manifest courtesy, kindness, tender regard for the feelings of others and will communicate to his associates, by his acts of love, a tender, grateful, happy feeling. It will be made manifest that he is living for Jesus and daily learning lessons at His feet, receiving His light and His peace. He will be able to say to the Lord, 'Thy gentleness hath made me great.'" ~by E.G. White.
A kind person demonstrates kindness "by refraining or speaking, by his manner, his regard, his words, his acts." (Charlotte Mason)
A couple tips Charlotte Mason shared about how to be kind:
"People can be kind only when all their thoughts are given to the person or creature they are kind to, and when there is no backward glance to see how the matter affects self."
"There are always two ways of understanding other people's words, acts, and motives; and human nature is so contradictory that both ways may be equally right; the difference is in the construction we put upon other people's thoughts. If we think kindly of another;s thoughts--think, for example, that an ungentle action or word may arise from a little clumsiness and not from lack of kindness of heart--we shall probably be right and be nor more than fair to the person concerned." (To read more on Kindness by Charlotte Mason, read Volume 4, Book 1, pages 99-102)
Also read 2 Corinthians 6, and Titus 3.
Let's each aim to treat our children (and our spouses!) with the kindness and grace that we would give to a guest in our homes. Be courteous and considerate. Then our homes will become more pleasant and comfortable places.
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