Being Kind and Compassionate in Marriage

Two keys to building a healthy relationship

“Be kind and compassionate to one another….” Ephesians 4:32

Kindness and compassion are often desired and forgotten in the dailyness of marriage. Life gets busy. We may answer our spouse sharply. We don’t have the time or patience for their burdens because we have enough of our own. “Just pull it together and keep moving!” is what our attitude expresses. Instead of building our marriage in little ways each day, we slowly dismantle the relationship we’re to cherish the most.

The qualities of kindness and compassion are vital to the health of a marriage relationship. What the Apostle Paul wrote as a mandate to Christians in general applies especially to married couples.

Here are just a few reminders for how to build your marriage with kindness and compassion.

Kindness

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Whatever “too late” means, no one wants to experience it! Kindness is a product of a life that is yielded to God’s Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). It should be injected into as many interactions as possible with your spouse throughout each day.

You’ll find several links to other posts that will give you more information as you work through the following lists. You can be kind through your:

Smiling.

Train your face to smile at your spouse. Smiles reduce tension, exude acceptance, and radiate peace.

Train your face to smile at your spouse. Smiles reduce tension, exude acceptance, and radiate peace.

Gentleness.

Is your tone of voice harsh and abrupt? Are you argumentative and challenging? Your gentleness should be evident to your spouse (Philippians 4:5). Is your tone of voice harsh and abrupt? Are argumentative and challenging? Your gentleness should be evident to your spouse (Philippians 4:5).

Patience.

Your patience is an expression of grace to your spouse. If you are unsure if you are patient with your spouse–ask them. (And wait patiently for their answer!)

Courtesy.

Simply saying “please” and “thank you” are kindnesses often overlooked in marriage. Defer to each other’s preferences whenever possible, too.

Respect.

Respect is often expressed through our words. Sarcasm or demeaning comments slowly slice away at our spouse’s heart. Be honoring and affirming as you talk to them. Speak well of them around others as well.

Honesty.

Telling the truth to your spouse in love shows kindness and builds trust. We’ve seen couples think they were being kind while not being honest with each other—to the ultimate peril of their marriage.

Compassion

Compassion means to suffer or feel with someone else. It’s more than empathy or sympathy. Compassion identifies with the pain someone else is experiencing and seeks to bring relief. In marriage, compassion requires openness by the one who is hurting and sensitivity by the one providing care.

You can be compassionate through your:

Thoughtfulness.

When you identify a pain in your spouse’s life, ask if they want to talk about it. Then simply listen. Ask questions. Don’t minimize or discredit their hurt. Ask if they want to talk or are looking for solutions. Sometimes all they need is a shoulder to cry or lean on. It’s been said that, “A shared burden is half a burden.” You can provide that for your spouse.

Timing.

Some people need time alone to process and regroup before interacting. Don’t force your desire to be compassionate when your spouse isn’t ready. That isn’t being compassionate.

Tenderness.

Remember that your spouse is hurting, so treat their burden with care and respect.

Touch.

Sometimes a gentle touch on the shoulder, hand, or leg can communicate more than words. Be sensitive to your mate’s receptivity to touch as some spouses prefer not to be touched when hurting.

Start today by practicing kindness and compassion in your marriage. It will open the doors to greater love and connection as you build your marriage.

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  • Rafael Ramirez

    Amazing to me, that the little things like these steps seem so easy. Yet in our business. I lose a lot of this, love the idea, of training your face to smile. My wife is touchy feeling person, but I forget. Life gets in the way, and I allow it. Thanks you, will try this, God gave me a gift, as in my wife. I know that for a fact. This tools will help me love, honor and adore my wife. God has brought me so far, so a failed marriage is not an option. Not for us.

    • buildyourmarriage

      Thanks so much for your comment, Rafael. Way to go to be willing to change and to fight for your marriage. Love the commitment to stay married!