Today we are talking about the fruit of the spirit KINDNESS.
I was curious when I started studying, so I “googled” the word kindness and tons of things came up, and hardly any of them were from the Bible. Thankfully for you and I, God’s Word does have something to say about TRUE BIBLICAL KINDNESS, and I will be sharing 4 ways to show your kids this type of intentional kindness!
In our world today, this idea of KINDNESS is very popular..
Both Christians and non-Christians, especially since the pandemic, with so much loneliness and loss that came with that time, are very aware of mainstream kindness slogans. From the Cinderella movie, “Have courage and be kind, to songs by major artists about kindness, usually accompanied by some kind of rainbow logo or t-shirt.
But we as Christians, above all others, should exemplify kindness to others, because we know where the root of true kindness comes from, and that is the love of Jesus!
So when I hear things like a waitress sharing that Sundays are her least favorite day to work, because of how hard church people are to wait on and are known for low tips, or when I hear of another mom share that she doesn’t take her kids to church, because her “Christian” parents were verbally abusive to her growing up…
These stories break my heart, but they ARE real, and it’s NOT okay, because above all others on this earth, we as Christians should have an even higher calling to love others and be KIND!
So with this is mind, let’s see what true biblical kindness looks like and how it can affect the type of moms we are to our kids..
So what is kindness? How does the Bible define it?
Well, basically kindness is love shown in practical and personal ways, and it’s the partner of patience, like we talked about last month.
1 Corinthians 13:4 says: “Love suffers long and is kind.”
So the first two ways to describe how to love someone in the Bible is to be both patient and kind to them.
When I think of kindness, I think of a smile first. Looking someone in the eye and really smiling at them, so they know they are seen. And when we really see people, I think the Lord shows us their needs…their need for Jesus but also very practically, their physical needs as well.
For example, like the story of the good Samaritan from Luke 10, you have probably heard in Sunday school as a child or read to your kids before from a children’s Bible…
Everyone that walked by this man, saw that he was hurting, but they chose to turn away and keep on with their busy schedules. They chose to not really LOOK and see the man’s needs, but not the Samaritan. He intentionally chose to stop what he was doing and show the man kindness…
When we really see people and choose to show kindness to them, it ALWAYS makes a way to ultimately show them Jesus, including the little ones we are with the most moms…our kids!
So knowing that the chief enemy of kindness is busyness…What are some ways we can cut out busyness in how we show our kids kindness?
Very practically, here a 4 ways to show more intentional kindness to our kids:
- Put down your phone!
- I was reading a blog the other day and this mom shared that she locks her phone in the car for 2 hours after school everyday, so that she can focus on her kids.
- As I thought about the significance of something as simple as this…what does that tell our kids? That no test message, email, announcement on social media or anything else is more important that time with them.
- I think most of our kids would find it normal to find us with our phones—and when we have our phones, what are we doing? Looking down! This teaches our kids to do the same. So put the phone away for a certain amount of time each day and just be present with your kids and anyone else around. You might find that while you are watching your kids swing at the park or score goal, which they will eat up that your attention is all on them, you might also see others as well…maybe even a mom that is hurting and needs someone to show her some kindness and the love of Jesus. You never know what can come from looking up at people, instead of down at a screen…
2. Learn to love what they love!
- God has made us all unique, and even though our kids may be little, you will see very early on…what are the things that they gravitate too?
- For my oldest it was sports, right out of the womb and for my youngest, it was animals. Of course things can change throughout the years, but learn to love whatever your kids are into—for me, I never thought I would be a boy mom, but here I am and I’m ALL in….or maybe you are a girl mom to the girliest princess-pink-loving girl in the world, and you prefer neutrals and no frills—but you just dive in and love what she loves, tutus and all!
- It might look like sitting down to play legos, play dough, baby dolls, tea party over and over until you are sick of it—or when they get older taking them to dance or music lessons, attending recitals or taking them to practice and going to games—but you learn to love what is important to them and compliment them as they grow in their skill
- It has nothing to do with how good they are at anything, but just that you love seeing them play or do what they love! This shows them intentional kindness—it has nothing to do with their performance, but just that you enjoy loving it, whatever it is, alongside them!
3. Leading to my next point, when you show your kids kindness and love in this way, it makes them more apt to also love what you love as well.
- And just a side note, this is not just how it works with kids but with all people. If you show someone kindness and intentionality in the things they are interested in, then they are going to be more willing to listen to you and know that your kindness and love for them is genuine.
- Pastor Adrian Rogers said it like this: “People don’t care how much you know, until they KNOW how much you care.”
- So when trying to reach our kids and others for Jesus, do they know you care? Are you sitting down the phone? Are you looking up and really seeing them? Are you loving what they love? Because doing these things will give you the opportunity to speak into their lives, and tell them about Jesus. With our kids these opportunities can come everyday in both big and small ways.
4. Last, use your words to show KINDNESS in how you affirm your kids!
- Build them up with words of kindness, making it clear that no matter what they do, you will always love them and Jesus will always love them. That even when you have to discipline them, that you do so, because you love them and you want the absolute best for them.
- Proverbs 31:26, which is one of our foundational verses here at Faithful 31 Moms, says: “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is what we are called to do as moms!
- A second part to this is to affirm them when you see them being kind to others and let them know that you see that in them.
- I have shared this before, but something I like to do every night to affirm my two boys before bed, is leave them with what I call a night time blessing. Basically it’s just words of kindness and affirmation…just simple things that I have seen them doing that day—like being kind to their sibling, inviting a neighbor to church, working hard at their school work, being kind to a teammate, etc. Things that have nothing to do with their performance, but everything to do with who they are becoming as the person that God has made them to be.
Jesus loves ALL of us like this, so we can show our kids this by example of loving them unconditionally with kindness and patience, even though some days are easier than others…I’m sure the Lord feels the same way about us, right?!
A closing fun idea you could try for the summer with your kids, is have a jar of kindness in your house. Anytime you see one of your kids doing something kind, let them add a penny or a jelly bean or whatever you choose to fill the jar of kindness with. Tell your kids once it is full, then they each get to get to choose something fun to do for their siblings, (on your dime of course since they earned it) like each sibling gets to pick out a toy for another sibling or bringing home milkshakes for everyone…This way everyone gets a reward, but the focus stays on thinking about others and showing kindness, even in the reward.
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