When Caleb and I were courting last year I asked many people for advice and what they thought was the most important thing in deciding who you would marry. Besides for being a Christian which of course is the most important. A lot of them said the same thing – marriage is work but if you marry someone kind you’ll never regret it! I of course had always wanted a kind guy, but kind was always on my list of 20 other things I wanted too. It seemed to go along with romantic, a gentleman, adventurous, determined etc. All those positive things that each person wishes their future spouse would be, but people are flawed humans and you’re never going to find everything you want (or think you want) in one person.
Over the next months I thought about their advice a lot. It seemed to make more sense to me and my priorities seem to be a little more clear. And I could definitely say that Caleb was one of the kindest guys I’d ever met! Then he asked me to marry under a full moon and I said yes, wedding planning was all a blur and we had a fairytale wedding. Everything fell into place on the day just like it was supposed to. We got married on the warmest day in February with sunshine and all! It was all a perfect dream.
But after we got married a lot of things did not go as planned. Caleb got mono and ended up in the hospital. He was sick and totally out for a few weeks about the time he was better I got sick and have been sick off and on the last month. I’m currently laying in the hammock feeling like puking trying to distract myself. We’re remodeling our house which hasn’t went exactly as planned. My house is currently a mess (I thought kids were to blame for making a house messy) there are piles of dishes waiting to be done and I forgot to make Caleb a lunch last night so I ran around this morning while coming down with the flu trying to throw a haphazard meal together for him to take. Did he complain that I forgot? Nope, he just said thank you so much and gave me a huge hug and a kiss like I’d just made him his favorite meal.
I’ve thought a lot about marriage and kindness lately. I sat talking with a friend right before I got married as she told me about her boyfriend she was pretty serious about. She said what she loved about him was that he wanted to go conquer the world and always was doing big things. I ask her if he was kind, she said he wasn’t mean but wasn’t super kind. She said that doing big things and always keeping her amazed by what he was doing was more important to her than a guy that was kind. She wanted someone who would captivate a room and could get everyone on board with his idea. I cautioned her that probably someday once she had a few kids that she’d care more about how kind he was than what big new thing he was doing. She thought about it and said maybe but she wasn’t sure and didn’t I used to want to marry a guy who wanted to get into politics and do big things and conquer the world. I said yes, but now my priorities for a guy had changed.
Now I’ve been married for a few months and a lot of unexpected things have happened. I can say now that more than ever I think one of the very most important character qualities in a guy when you think about marrying him is that he’s kind. When the house is a mess and you’re puking your guts out and have laid around half of the last 2 weeks sick with every kind of sickness and he’s kindly taken care of you and not complained… Somehow right now that means so much more to me than if he’s out doing some big huge thing and he’s super popular!
Never underestimate the quality of kindness. Life almost never goes quite as planned and if you have a kind person at your side it makes it SO very much better! I’d much prefer a man who captivated people with his kindness than grabbed the attention of every room he walked into. Somehow giving big elegant speeches seems lame when you see him get a cart for the person in aldi’s carrying around an overflowing box because they didn’t think they’d be grabbing that many groceries. Or kindly bend down and fix a toy for a toddler who’s favorite toy just broke. My husband may not be on billboards, but through kindness he’s etched on more people’s hearts than I could count.
Some people seem to think that being kind is being weak, but I actually think being kind is one of the strongest character qualities. It takes strength to still say a kind word even when you’re sad or disappointed or your expectations have not been met!
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” ~Ephesians 4:32
In life kindness makes everything a little sweeter, but for a good marriage, kindness is essential! If you’re looking for a spouse, look for someone that’s kind. If you want to have a good marriage someday, cultivate kindness. And if you’re married and want a sweet marriage, cultivate kindness.
“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”