Do you remember the story of Abraham looking for a wife for his son, Isaac? The story is found in Genesis 24. A servant is given the task of going back to Abraham’s family and finding a young woman who would be suitable for Isaac. The servant, obviously overwhelmed by his assignment, begins to pray.
Do you remember what sign he told God he was looking for? Let the young woman not only draw water for me, a common and expected gesture of hospitality, but also draw water for my camels. Drawing enough water for tired and thirsty camels is certainly beyond what is to be expected in any culture, but that was what the servant asked for.
Why? Because he was looking for a woman who was kind.
Kindness? Really? Ask any single person about the person they’re looking to marry, and they’ll give you a long list.
Kindness won’t be on that list.
There will be a lot of descriptions of how the person will look, dress, or even the career they will have, but if kindness is on the list at all, it will be way on down the list.
Now, ask that same question to a couple that’s been married for a very long time, and kindness, if it’s not the first thing they say, will be near the top of the list. The long-married couple has learned some things about how marriage actually works day in and day out. The world would have us think we spend every day of our married lives in the throes of passion. We don’t. We spend most of our time taking out the garbage, getting the kids to school, washing clothes, going to work, and coming home again.
We spend most of our marriages in “like.” By that I mean we spend most of our time doing life together, and kindness—doing the little things that make the other person’s life easier—is one of those little everyday things that ends up making a big difference.
You don’t have to have a big house to be happily married. You don’t have to have a lot of money to be happily married. You do, however, have to have a lot of kindness to be happily married. The days get too long without it.
So, ladies, the guy you’re dating now, is he kind?
Guys, the girl you think is so beautiful, is she kind?
For those of you who are already married, are you kind to each other?
Ask any of us who’ve been married for a while (Jeannie and I will be married 38 years next month) and we’ll all tell you the same thing. You want to know the secret of a happy marriage?
“Be kind one to another.” It is, after all, in the Bible.