Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
This weekend our son ran into a pole while playing freeze tag on a playground. He had a bruise the size of two fun size snickers bar stacked on top of each other. It was ugly!
When our kids got hurt in the past, I would overreact and get bent out of shape. Harsh words were directed towards my spouse as if she were somehow at fault. I regret my behavior. Learning from my mistakes, I’ve found it is God’s kindness that brings the change I desperately need.
Since then my son was stung playing with a bee, scraped his knee running, and smacked his head again in the same place!
Despite what you may think, I’m convinced he will grow strong! 🙂
My wife and I recently had the privilege to talk with friends on the topic of emotional intimacy in marriage. The verse in Romans means your kindness towards your spouse, especially when they share the hurtful and shameful parts of their life, will be an expression of God’s kindness, and it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance and change. (re|engage Lesson 13, p77)
Here’s what we’ve learned:
- emotional intimacy involves learning to take responsibility for my expectations and understanding my spouse at a heart level
- when Jess and I realized we are the expression of God’s kindness to each other we began trying to “outdo” each other with kindness instead of harshness (our marriage grew rapidly because of this specific truth)
- over time we began rebuilding bridges & sharing our brightest dreams or deepest fears without feeling managed or judged
King David describes God’s loving kindness in Psalm 103 below:
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
- The words merciful, slow to anger, does not deal harshly as we deserve paints a picture of God’s kindness.
- Unfailing love toward those who fear him, great as the heights of heavens, able to remove our sins as far from us so they never meet paints a picture of God’s power.
- Tender compassion like a father paints a picture of God’s intimate love, which covers a multitude of sins.
These emotions also describe the person of Jesus and exist in marriage as a reminder how desperately we long to be known by God and each other.
In case it’s not clear, “those who fear him” means God’s glory manifested, like in a fierce marriage, can feel both astonishingly vulnerable yet terrifyingly powerful all at the same.
Because we are created in God’s image, we have a whole host of emotions that are meant to help us connect intimately with Him and our mate.
Emotional intimacy is the difference between a good marriage and a great marriage – growing, thriving, and fierce.
Can you see how expressing God’s kindness is one of the greatest gifts we can offer in marriage? Because our world is fallen, can you see how this emotion is even more powerful?