It is sad and inevitable that our love begin to cool. I wish it weren’t so, but I know in my own life that my love for Christ and my family is not always as fervent as it should be. I always care for them, but sometimes they would wonder about the depth of my love.
One of the first evidences that our love is waning is when our kindness begins to diminish. It is impossible to genuinely love someone without being kind. The Bible says, “Charity is…kind…” (I Corinthians 13:4).
The word “erode” means “to slowly disintegrate”. That is exactly what happens to our kindness over time if our heart is neglected. There is a reason we tend to be kinder to strangers than to our own family. It is because kindness tends to wear down with time and familiarity.
God told the nation of Israel, “…I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals…” (Jeremiah 2:2) He associates their love to Him with the early days of their relationship, “the kindness of thy youth”. Again, He mentions “espousals” which was a term we would use for the time of engagement before marriage. Couples tend to be more kind in the early years of their relationship, thus, His use of “love of thine espousals”.
Their love had become mechanical, without tenderness and sincerity. The casualty was kindness. What happened? As time passed, familiarity set in and when we begin to take someone for granted we lose our appreciation for them. If we can take the Lord for granted after all He has done for us then we can do the same to anyone else.
When love begins to cool we go through the motions without any sense of tenderness and gratitude. This was one of their most basic problems of the church at Corinth, they didn’t love one another and weren’t kind to each other. It can happen to us, too.
Have you sensed the erosion of kindness in the way you related with those you love the most? Is there a loss of tenderness and affection that has been replaced by a relationship characterized by duty and boredom? May kindness be renewed in your heart as you allow Christ to live His life through you and love others.
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all these”. (George Washington Carver)