…encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (Titus 2: 4-5)
When I was still a rookie mother, I was invited to participate in a Bible Study through my church called Apples of Gold. I packed up my then-two-month-old Stinkbug every Wednesday morning and headed to meet with a wise group of ladies who were mentoring some of the younger women in our fellowship. We looked at Titus 2 together– each week studying a different aspect of what the younger women were encouraged to do/be.
The first week was focused on kindness and I was struck at how in the list (above) from Titus 2: love their children, love their husbands, submit to their husbands, home-makers… kindness was specified as something women should be taught and encouraged in. I saw the great importance of being a good home-maker and loving my family well, but I wasn’t quite sure that kindness was as important as these other things.
The longer I have been a mother, I have recognized the ease with which I slip into patterns of unkindness. Now, I see more clearly why kindness was specifically commanded by Paul to be exhorted in women.
Let’s be honest, kindness is not natural.
Husband late for dinner? Husband says something insensitive (like maybe “So what did you do all day?”) Children whine? Children make messes? Children fight with each other?
This is our existence. This is where we find ourselves as women, and it is so easy to naturally respond to any of this (or a host of other daily scenarios) with unkindness.
But the woman who is seeking the Lord and depending on His grace, will work hard to cultivate kindness.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31: 26)
She will speak kindness to her husband and her children with God’s help… whether they deserve it or not.