“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32, King James Version)
Three of the most common things I’ve noticed over the years in my counseling experiences are that couples are often unkind to one another, often express anger toward each other and have an unforgiving attitude. All three of these are just characteristics of lack of growth or you could say immaturity. Maturing means becoming a better person: “Becoming a Better Person is the Secret to Building Better Relationships.” It’s called personal development. So the purpose of this article is to discuss how to reverse those three relationship thwarting attributes and how to overcome them.
Be Kind to One Another
Kindness is so classy. A person who always expresses kindness is a stand apart from those around them generally. It makes them look so classy and desired. On the other hand rudeness looks so tacky and especially if it is directed toward a mate. No one wants to be around a couple who are constantly at each other; it is so uncomfortable for everyone.
Though kindness is to be expressed to everyone, I will mention some simple ways of expressing kindness to your mate that will cost you little of nothing. Let me make it clear in the beginning however that I do not hold myself up as a model. I have had to learn much of what I know about relationships through error on my part. Many of you reading this have a distinct advantage over me in that you still have a mate and still can learn and improve your relationship with them; my wife passed away in June of 2005, so my opportunities are gone forever to ever make a difference in that relationship. My sincere advice to you is to make a difference now while there is still life. Here are a few simple things that you can do to express kindness:
- Greet your mate with enthusiasm where ever you see them and whenever you see them, whether it is coming to the airport from a business trip, coming home from work or meeting them at a party or whatever. Treat them like they are first in your life because they should be.
- Support them in all they do. Help them when they are down. Recognize their accomplishments and praise them for it. Never miss the opportunity to give her flowers on the appropriate occasions and you might want to keep a few little gifts handy to give to them at just the right moment.
- Do the little things of politeness like opening her car door,(If you happen to have a feminist for a mate you may have to be more creative because opening a car door may just anger her; feminists miss the point completely.) holding her hand as you walk, seating her at the restaurant. For her, she can look her best for her man and always treat him with respect especially when among friends. The late Ruth Graham, the wife of the reverend Billy Graham, once said, “When I wake in the morning, my thought is how I can make this a better day for Billy.” What a difference that would make in any marriage from both the perspective of the husband and the wife.
- Respect the other person’s need for privacy. Men especially need to be careful about making too many sexual advances and constant grappling. This can indeed be an invasion of a woman’s privacy. Learn to restrain yourself and wait until the appropriate time.
- Take responsibility for your share of chores around the house. Be sure to pick up after yourself; yeah this is for men; this is often a bone of contention for a women to continually pick up after a grown man.
- Never and I say never push another person’s hot buttons intentionally. This can bring a lot of grief and for no reason.
- Never express more kindness to total strangers than you do to the one you love.
A good definition of tenderhearted is, “having a compassionate, kindly, or sensitive disposition”. We all have our problems in life and sometimes they can be overwhelming and to have a mate who is insensitive at times like these is ludicrous…so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be almost amusing were it not for the circumstances.
Being sensitive to the needs of your mate, friends or just anyone in their time of need is the strongest way to build relationships and to do the opposite is the fastest way to tear them down.
I have also noticed that some expend all their energy taking care of the needs of someone else without ever having someone to support them also in their times of need; what a great inequity; shame on a husband or wife guilty of this.
Be Angry and sin not
Anger is common and we see it in domestic settings, the work place, at school, on the road, at church and everywhere we go. According to statistics One out of five people have an anger management problem. The anger drive is a God given drive among many other drives that we have. It is not the drive in question but how we use the drive. The Bible says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27, King James Version)
God gave us an anger drive for a very real purpose. Anger prepares our body to take action in danger. It sends blood that is in the brain to the muscles to strengthen them for fleeing or taking defensive action. We misuse it when we become angry for any other reason. Take note that the blood leaves the brain when we get angry putting us in a situation where we are not able to think as clearly as normal. It has been born out in studies that when angry the IQ drops 20 points; what that means is if we are average, it puts us in the stupid range. You every say things when you were angry that you realized later were stupid and you wished you hadn’t said them?
Alright so getting angry is normal, so what to do. Zip it up when angry; bit your tongue; wait until you cool off so you have time to recover your best thinking process. Here are four things you might want to do:
- Be objective and look very carefully at yourself. Could be you are the one at wrong. “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye”. (Matthew 7:3)
- Don’t judge another’s motives. There is no way we know why someone does what they do unless we are in their mind. “For the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:2)
- Don’t respond to anger with anger. Keep your cool and be careful what you say.
- Retreat from the angry person’s presence as soon as possible and wait until they have cooled off to discuss the problem. Just ask them if they will give you time to think about it and then discuss it later.
Becoming a Better Person is the Secret to Building Better Relationships…I like that line from the movie, “As good as it gets”, Melvin says to Carol, “You make me want to be a better man”. What greater complement than to impact another life to become a better person. I hope that this article has created that desire in your heart.
Pay Forward and help others in 2011!
Every 3.6 seconds someone across the world dies of starvation and 75% are children; that amounts to 24,000 people who die EACH DAY from starvation or malnutrition. For several years now I have been helping through my financial support. $40 per month will feed, clothe and send a child to school in a third world country.
Administering a website like this one requires a lot of hours per week. If the articles here are a help to you, would you consider paying forward and helping a child somewhere to live and have a better life. Every donation through this site goes for that purpose. Even a small donation from the thousands who visit this site would go a very long ways…Please help!
Retweets and Facebook mentions are always appreciated! Thank you and have a great day!