Marriage is a Lifelong Commitment, and Friendship is a Lifelong Engagement

cute middle aged couple embracing outdoors

Remember the story of The Good Samaritan? Me too. Digging into the scripture we see that Jesus was answering a lawyer who asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Instead of answering that question directly, Jesus prompted him toward a deeper understanding, asking him what is written in the law. His response was, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (v. 27)

Like us, many had heard this scripture time and again. But few understood that loving your neighbor is an act of merciful kindness and grace.

Jesus shared a parable with him about The Good Samaritan who went out of his way to help someone in need while others just passed him by on the other side of the road.

One little word in this chapter stood out to me. It speaks volumes. It teaches us what real kindness entails. And as I dig a bit deeper, I see that Jesus made a point to use this word often.

Mercy. eleos in the Greek translation. (Strongs G1656) Defined as: mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them. A) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one’s self merciful.

I’ve often said that it’s easy to love those who love us, but the challenge lies in our ability to love the unlovable. That calls for grace. I think it must be said often because there’s this mindset around us that wants to reinforce this idea that kindness is only for those who deserve it.

The familiar phrase, “It has to go both ways,” doesn’t take into account merciful grace.

Kindness doesn’t sit around analyzing a situation to determine whether this person is right or that person is wrong. Kindness is a charitable gift–it reaches out to those in need.

If we hope to grow in virtue, then we must keep our eyes focused on Christ at all times. He is the one leading the dance. He’s the one we take our cue from.

Don’t let your character be shaped by the attitude of others around you. If someone is unkind, respond with kindness. If someone is getting on your nerves be patient. There are times when we must draw healthy boundaries.

But I pray that you use wisdom in doing so, and pray about the situation earnestly. Don’t give up on people too quickly. Consider our Lord Who took on our sin and forgave those who crucified Him.

Make an effort to clothe yourself in kindness even and especially when you don’t feel like being kind.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. – Colossians 3:12-14, ESV

Finally, let’s talk about complacency and how it can affect our kindness. You get comfortable with your surroundings and your situation. You’ve got a guy with a lifetime commitment. You don’t have to impress him. Day in and day out you wake up together and you know that at the end of the day you’ll be heading right back to that same room again. There’s no challenge, at least not on the surface…

But here’s the thing. There’s always a challenge to capture and grab hold of his heart. Marriage is a lifelong commitment, and friendship is a lifelong engagement. Each and every day you have the opportunity to engage with each other. Put in the effort and the attention it takes to keep your friendship alive.

Be friendly, helpful, considerate, loving, and patient. In other words, be kind.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

Radically Redefining Love

Radically Redefining Love

As a parent of three kids I find myself constantly (and at times with little success) encouraging one of our kids to love each other. The truth of the matter though is that loving another human being sounds great, is easy to do when it means sending … [Continue reading]

The Secret To Guarding Your Mouth

The Secret to Guarding Your Mouth

  “I dont want to be your friend anymore” “You are stupid” “That is the ugliest shirt, I’ve ever seen!” One of the things that all children have in common is that they can be reckless with their tongue. Sadly adults struggle in their … [Continue reading]

Through The Eyes Of A Child

FTF October

It is in the most unexpected moments that the words of my children speak the truth. Words fitly spoken in love.  And although my child speaks with innocence and truth, the feeling under my skin doesn’t always feel so comfortable or truthful. In … [Continue reading]

A Holy Recipe for a Lifelong Love

A Holy Recipe for a Lifelong Love

I’m not much into recipes, but if you’re looking for one to build a lifelong love between husband and wife, you couldn’t do much better than 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. Paul doesn’t limit his words to just marriage in this passage, but when looked at in … [Continue reading]

The One Question We Have to Ask When We Want our Kids to Grow Spiritually

One Question to Ask if we want to see #spiritual growth in our children #family #discipleship

I was an elementary school teacher before I had children. I spent my days writing lesson plans, teaching those plans, and evaluating the results of those plans. I may not be a teacher any longer, but I am certainly still a planner. I now … [Continue reading]

One Thing Leadership Does Not Teach Our Children

Leadership Does Not Teach

According to a McKinsey report, US companies spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development. Leadership classes at colleges and universities multiply every year and some top business schools offer customized leadership-development … [Continue reading]

Making Time For Your Spouse When Life is Busy

31 Days to a Better Marriage @

Life is busy. We've all been there. So busy that we wonder if we are really walking out the will of God in our lives. So busy that all we can do to make it through the day is pray, pray, and pray some more. So busy that when we lay our head down at … [Continue reading]

Six Ways to Help Your Child Lead

six ways to help your child lead

Recently, my daughter came to me and asked if she could start a Bible study.  At the time, she was only eleven. I immediately had visions of tweenage girls huddled around our kitchen table busy doing crafty object lessons and munching on newly … [Continue reading]

Three Pillars of Parenting {giveaway}

Three Pillars of Parenting with Dr. Tony Evans

Families determine the future, making parenting one of the most critical tasks on earth. Yet unfortunately today, as we have seen, Satan has done a great job of dismantling the family. He has been after the family since the beginning of time: He … [Continue reading]