Our wedding anniversary comes up on the 30th of October and yesterday we had a heart-to-heart talk till early hours of the morning. We asked ourselves questions like – are we still on the same page, areas that we need to work on more, etc; but one that stood out the most for me was kindness.

As we spoke, it dawned on me that kindness is relative to the giver and the receiver.

We all assume that kindness is a common ingredient in marriage, but the motive behind those acts of kindness speaks otherwise.

A husband buys his wife a car. Friends applaud him but the wife is heart broken; why? Maybe because behind the act of kindness lies the real motive – to show that he has money, and not necessarily to meet his wife’s need; thereby using the gift to control his wife and much more.

A wife brings lunch to her husband’s office. The men are excited about the kindness their friend’s wife is showing, but the husband is not. This may be because deep down, the lunch is a way to monitor and control her husband’s environment.

Rich says…

Kindness is actually the way we demonstrate love. So every act of kindness cleaves memories in our heart but the motive behind the act of kindness must be genuine.

That which is desired in a man is loyalty and kindness [and his glory and delight are his giving], but a poor man is better than a liar.
Proverbs 19:22 (AMPC).

So before you scream and tell someone that their spouse is kind and loving, do ask them how they perceive their spouse’s kindness and if it is really kindness to the receiver.

For the spouse whose acts of kindness have not brought the desired result, please do ask yourself some salient questions like –

  • Are my acts of kindness a show off for other people?
  • Why does my spouse react negatively to my acts of kindness?
  • How can I be truly kind to my unique spouse?

Remember dear couples and friends, kindness is relative to the giver and receiver and as such; both are the ones who truly can define if their spouse has treated them with kindness.

Are you kind?

Ngee and Rich
(Dr. Richard and Ngozi Okonkwo)
Relationship Coach/Habit Instructors
Founders – Keeping Marriage Alive Initiative

“Will two people walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3.

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