Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 29

Love's motivation.

"Render service with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to men" (Ephesians 6:7).

Love motivated by mere duty cannot hold out for very long.

Love that is only motivated by favorable conditions can never be assured of sufficient oxygen to keep it breathing.

Definitely, moods and emotions can create all kinds of moving motivational targets. 

But love comes from God.
Therefore, when God is my reason for loving, my ability to love is guaranteed.

The love that is demanded from me in marriage should not be dependent on my wife's sweetness or sustainability. 

The love between my wife and I should have one chief objective, honoring the Lord with devotion and sincerity.

The blessing that that kind if love brings to my beloved in the process is simply a wonderful, additional benefit.

Only love that is lifted up as an offering to God is able to to sustain itself when all other reasons have lost their ability to energize me.

Love that has God as its primary focus is unlimited in the heights it can attain!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 28

Love makes sacrifices.

I must admit today's dare is the hardest so far. 

Yet Scripture reminds that lives that have been raised from death by Jesus' sacrifice should be ready and willing to make daily sacrifices to meet the needs of others.

I am nakedly aware that I am usually the first to feel it when I am the one being mistreated or inconvenienced.

When life is difficult for me, I notice.

Unfortunately, the only way I notice that life is hard for my wife is when she start complaining about it.

Her pain and pressure most of the time do not register with me the way it does when it is my pain and pressure.

Yet when I complain, I expect her to understand and feel sorry for me.

Today's dare challenges that love does not have to be jarred awake by my wife's obvious signs of distress.

Love desires that I be sensitive to my  wife. 

Love makes sacrifice.
Love shows compassion.

Love inspires to say "no" to what I want, in order to say "yes" to what my wife needs ( Matthew 25:35-36).

I have to let love pick me up out of my self-pity and turn my attention to my wife's needs.

Love is willing to make sacrifices to see that the needs of my wife are given my very best effort and focus.

LOVE DARe: Day 27

Love encourages.

"Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble " ( Isaiah 35:3).

"Encourage one another and build up one another ... Encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:11, 14).

I continue being reminded that marriage is a unique friendship designed by God where two people live together in flawed imperfection but deal with it by encouraging each other, not discouraging them.

Perhaps I have spent most of my past years as a "speck" inspector making my loved ones spend most days sensing more of my disapproval than my acceptance.

I choose to live by encouragement rather than by expectations. 

I choose to focus on personal responsibility and improving myself rather than on demanding more from my wife. 

Marriage is a relationship to be enjoyed  and savored along the way.

I am making a commitment tonight to daily let go of unrealistic expectations and become my wife's greatest encourager. 

Oh! That you may grant me this Grace, God, I beg of you in Jesus precious name. Amen.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 26

Love is responsible.

Love is responsible and is willing to admit and correct its faults and errors up front.
Love does not pass the blame so easily or justify selfish motives.

Personal responsibility is something we wish others to have but struggle to maintain it ourselves.
We are so quick to justify our motives.
So quick to deflect criticism.
So quick to find fault with our spouse who is of course the easiest one to blame.

Love is not nearly as concerned with its own performance as with others' needs.

Love does not make excuses.

I must re-learn to first admit my own wrongs instead of passing blame.

Love also calls me to take responsibility for my wife.
To love her.
To honor her.
To cherish her.

Pride is very resistant to responsibility, but humility and honesty before God and my wife is crucial for a healthy relationship (1 John 1:8-9).
This is my honest pray.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 25

Love forgives.

Great marriages are not created by people who never hurt each other, only by people who choose to keep "no record of wrongs" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Inability to forgive is the most complex problem of all ( Matthew 18).

Forgiveness cannot just be considered and contemplated but must be deliberately put in practice.

Many a times we are unable to forgive because of perceived dangers and risks involved in forgiving others. 

Nevertheless, forgiveness does not absolve anyone of blame. It does not clear the offenders record with God.

Forgiveness saves the forgiver the trouble of trying to win.

Forgiveness is about freedom.

It is about letting go.

By forgiving I release my anger and the responsibility for judging the offender to the Lord.

Friday, April 25, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 24

Love vs. Lust

Lust is in opposition to love.
Lust simply means to set our heart and passions on something forbidden. 
It is likened to the bottomless pit of unmet longings.

This includes but not limited to seeking sexual fulfillment in another person; lust after possessions or power or prideful ambition.
Lust always breeds lust.

Lust is the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others.
It represents the beginnings of a lie.

Rather than fulfillment, lust leads to emptiness.
It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages.

Only God's love can fill me. Lust is a misguided thirst for satisfaction that only God can fulfill.

I dare choose love.
I run to God for satisfaction (2 Peter 1:3-4).
I choose to be grateful for everything God has already given me rather than choosing discontentment.

While I am at it, I set my eyes and heart on my wife (Proverbs 5:18-21).

Lust is the best this world has to offer, but love offers me the best life in the world. Amen.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 23

Love always protects.

There are many enemies conspiring to destroy marriages:

Harmful influence;
Unhealthy relationships;

I choose to guard the gate and stand my ground against anything that could threaten my wife or marriage.
I will guard my heart from things that may blur my perception of reality and put unfair expectation on my wife.

Indeed, love always protects.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 22

Love is faithful.

Christian love is the basis of our entire identity (John 3:16 & Luke 10:27).

Our love for each other is the root and ground of our existence (Ephesians 3:17). 

The account of prophet Hosea's union to Gomer serves as a metaphor of God's love and God's faithfulness.

In God we have the model of what rejected love does. It stays faithful.

I can and will give undeserved love to my wife because God gave undeserved love to me.

Love is expressed the most to those who deserve it least.

I pray to God that He fills me with the kind of love only God can provide.

I purpose to give that love to my wife in a way that reflects my gratefulness to God for loving me. Amen .

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 21

Love is satisfied in God.

The last two dares leave no doubt that I need God every single day.
God alone can satisfy, even when all else fails me.
God can always be trusted to deliver on God's promises.

I am becoming increasingly aware my wife will never be able to satisfy all the demands I ask of her - partly because some of my demands are unreasonable, partly because she is human.

I dare to approach God in utter dependence each day for the real needs in my life (Philippians 4:6-13).

I dare plug into God for my need to be loved; my need for acceptance; and my need for joy.

This I believe - God's faithfulness, God's truth, and God's promises to God's children will always remain the same.

God changes not!
God is my everyday supply. 
Of everything I need (Psalm 37:4; Philippians 4:19).
Amen and amen!

Monday, April 21, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 20

Love is Jesus Christ.
"While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

By His death, Jesus made invalid the idea that I am unloved and devalued.

His love cannot be fully comprehended. 

Such love cannot be earned. It is to be received!

When I have received this love as my own, I am free to love in ways I have never been capable before.

Because of His great love displayed on the Cross, I am able through Grace to walk in the fullness and blessing of His love.

True Love is found in Christ Alone. Oh Jesus, help my unbelief!

I dare to take God at His Word.

LOVE DARe: Day 19

Love is impossible.
I cannot manufacture unconditional love out of my own heart.
It is impossible.
It is beyond all of my capabilities.

No amount of hard work and commitment can muster up unconditional, long term, sacrificial love from my heart.

Love (agape) is of God and from God (1 John 4:7).
Only God who can love unconditionally.
It is only God who chooses to express His love for my wife through me!
I choose to follow God's leading on how to love my wife.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 18

Love seeks understanding.

When a man falls in love, he studies the love of his life. He learns her likes, dislikes, and habits.

But after he wins her heart and marries her, the desire and motivation to learn about her fade away.

The mystery and challenge of knowing my wife is a lifelong journey that ought to draw my heart ever closer to her.

Imperfections and flaws ought not rob me off the admiration and respect for the love of my life.

Each nuance in my wife's character has a back story.

I dare to discover the hidden gems about my wife. 

I dare to know my wife's greatest hopes and dreams.

I dare to understand how my wife prefers to give and receive love.

I dare to know what my wife's greatest fears are and why she struggles with them.

I dare to make a commitment to know my wife more than I do now.

LOVE DARe: Day 17

Love promotes intimacy.
Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships.

Living and sharing a home with another person who knows me down to the most intimate detail is part of the deep pleasure of marriage.

One who knows another person so intimately can either love deeply or wound in ways that can never be fully recovered.

I pledge to make my wife safe not scared. Our home shall always be a place of safety.

My wife should never feel pressured to be perfect in order to receive my approval.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:28).

Thursday, April 17, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 16

Love intercedes.

As much as I want, I cannot change my wife.

Only God who can reach into others heart and mold them into what God wants them to be.

I ought to learn from the farmer who knows he cannot make a seed grow into a fruitful crop.
Instead, he plants, waters, manures, fertilizes, cultivates, and then turn it over to God.

Love dare means that instead of wasting my time and energy trying to play God over the life of my wife, I ought to seek to personally change from the inside out. 

I must play my part and then depend on God for results.
This is most successful through effective prayer.

No one knows better how to pray for my wife than myself. 

I will pray instead of quitting.
I will pray when stressed out and worried.

Every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart I will pray!

I dare turn my complaints into prayer!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Cars and Marriage Have in Common by Nick Sorani (Shared by my good friend Anne Wheeler)

What Cars and Marriage Have in Common (On the Homefront with Nick Sorani for 04/03/2014, Abundant Life Now) .

(Nick Sorani is a Presbyterian minister who is in a ministry of Life Coaching.  His special focus is on marriage and families.)

What Cars and Marriage Have In Common

Most of us invest a certain degreeof time and money into servicing our car and keeping it in good running condition.
Even if car maintenance is not our thing, none of us wants to break down on the side of the road.  All breakdowns are untimely, and many cost us a significantly bigger chunk of our time and money, not to mention the hardship for a few days or weeks without reliable transportation.
Because we know this we do certain basic things like change our car’s oil, replace worn tires, check the fluid levels and fan belts.  This need for regular maintenance never seems to arise at a time when it’s convenient, but most of us still find a way to do it because we know what happens if we neglect this for too long.
The same is true in a marriage relationship, or any relationship for that matter.  If we neglect taking the effort, time, and sometimes money to invest in and keep our relationship in good health, we may well find our marriage broken down along the side of the road.
This kind of a breakdown, even small breakdowns that are repairable, can cost us greatly in all areas of our life.  Logically we know this, but I have always wondered why it is that most of us tend to service our cars preventively, and yet in our marriage relationships we tend to wait until the breakdown to begin re-investing.
Walking With Pebbles in Our Shoes
Somehow we are content to walk for quite a long time with large pebbles in our shoes rather than open ourselves up to self-reflection and work on a few habits or emotions.  This makes sense, as it is not easy to take responsibility for our actions, to lower our pride, or change a habit or pattern we have.
Most couples or individuals wait too long, sometimes their whole lives.  Yes, wouldn’t it be great if there was a marriage “Jiffy Lube” we could stop at and sip our Starbucks while we wait.  No pain, no scraped knuckles or grease stains, just a quick stop that let’s others do the work.
Of course the difference is that cars are mechanical, while marriage is between two people with patterns, systems and emotional baggage.  Nevertheless,  the analogy stands that we must invest in each other and maintain the relationship.  Below are a few thoughts, and I invite you to share your own ideas of what has worked for you.
  • Talk.  Remember the days you used to talk and really listen to each other, actually wanting to get to know everything about them?  Now it’s just kids, schedules, work, house, and whatever other warning light is going off.  Find time and get back to it.
  • Listen.  This should really be first on the list because if we don’t listen well we won’t be able to talk and share very effectively.  Two things: ask questions, and don’t interrupt in mid-sentence.  Seek to understand before you seek to correct, challenge or one-up the other.
  • What warning light is going off lately?  Are you operating in excessive anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, or some other emotion?  Do you know what it is that has triggered or caused this?  Have you considered working with a counselor or someone who can help you move out of this place?
  • Take the car out for a drive.  Get out and do something together that you enjoy.  Find and do things that make you laugh, or give you satisfaction and meaning.
  • Appreciate and affirm your spouse regularly.  This is one I constantly have to work on.  This is akin to changing your cars oil regularly, the most important and basic task of maintaining your vehicle.  Write her a letter, or challenge yourself to affirm her at least once a day.  Tell him you appreciate this or that about him.   The lifeblood of marriage is to feel wanted, needed, respected and appreciated.  Too often we just critique, blame or shame each other.
Just like a good road trip, all of these take intention and effort.  What we put in is what we get out.  Here’s to some great road trips ahead! 

LOVE DARe: Day 15

Love is honorable.

Love honors even when it is rejected. 
Love treats its beloved as special and sacred even when an ungrateful attitude is all one gets in return. 

To honor someone means to give them respect and high esteem.
It means to treat them as being special and of great worth.

To love is to honor.
This means also that when I speak to my wife, I should always keep my language clean and understandable.
I should always be polite and courteous.
When my wife speaks to me, I should take her seriously, giving her words weight and significance. 

I pledge to give my wife's voice and opinion equal influence in my mind.

My wife is one person that I pledge to always honor, praise, and defend.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 14

Love takes delight.
In order to delight in those we love, we must learn how to lead our heart rather than follow it.

We ought not allow our feelings and emotions to do the driving.

I should choose to delight in my wife and to love her no matter how long we have been married.

Love that chooses to love is just as powerful (perhaps truer) as love that feels like loving.

If I am irritable, it is because I choose to be.

If I pick at my wife more than I praise her, it is because I have allowed my heart to be selfish.

Those who choose to lead their heart will delight in their beloved even when the new wears off.

It is time to dream again. Delightfully! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 13

Love fights fair.
Love is not a fight, but it is always worth fighting for.

As fallen humanity, we enter marriage not just with hopes and dreams but also with hurts, fears, imperfections, and emotional baggage.

Once in marriage we soon begin to realize, unpleasantly though, how sinful and selfish each could be.

The storms of life also begin testing and revealing what we are really made of. Conflict sets in.

In the thick of conflict, pride is strongest. Anger is hottest. In conflict, I am most selfish and judgmental. Words contain the most venom. Unbridled conflict can lead marriage to self-destruct.

This is where love comes in.
Love helps install airbags and helps set up guard rails in marriage.

I must learn to work through conflict more effectively.

I must learn to fight clean by establishing healthy rules of engagement.

The dare is to figure out how to stay in bounds when the action heats up.

I will never mention divorce.
I must learn not to bring up old, unrelated items from the past.
I will never fight in public or in front of our children.
I will seek a "time out" when things escalate to a damaging level.
I will never touch my wife in a harmful way. 
I we re-learn to never go to bed angry with my wife.
Failure is not an option!

Fighting fair means changing my weapons! Disagreeing with dignity!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 12

Love lets the other win.
"The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield" (James 3:17).

"Willing" is the key word in today's dare.
This is an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate every conversation.

I should be like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend.

Jesus gives us an example of selfless love (Philippians 2).

Even though he had every right to stubbornly seek to be served by all humanity, he willingly laid down his life for our sins. 

I should have the attitude of willingness, flexibility, and humble submission. 

I will, willingly, lay down for the good of others what I have the right to claim for myself. 

I must re-learn not to stay entrenched and unbending even though I know it will cost me pride and discomfort.

Instead of treating my wife like an enemy or someone to be guarded against, I will treat her as my closest, most honored and trusted friend.

I choose to honor the one I love.

LOVE DARe: Day 11

Love cherishes. 
"Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it" (Ephesians 5:28-29).

My wife and I are a part of one another.
My wife is part of who I am.
Our lives are now interwoven together.

Marriage is a very beautiful mystery created by God, joining two lives together as one.

I will cherish my wife as I do to myself. 
I will treat her with respect and tenderness. 
I will take pleasure in who she is.

I must treat my wife with the same nurture and care that I treat myself.

I dare to treasure my wife as a priceless gift!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 10

Love is unconditional.
Love is a choice.
God's love is a choice.
We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).

The reason for loving my wife should not be based on something to do with her qualities.
Reason: when those qualities suddenly or gradually disappear, the basis for love is over!

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it is unconditional.

Unconditional love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.

This love is:
"In sickness and health" love;
"For richer or poorer" love;
"For better or worse" love.
This is true love - agape.
This is God's kind of love (1 John 4:10).

Love is not based on feelings or circumstances but on commitment.

This is love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor. 13:7).

I dare to no longer say to my wife, "I love you because ..." Instead I will say, "I love you, period!"

LOVE DARe: Day 9

Love makes good impressions.
The state of a couple's relationship can be discerned in the way they greet one another.
Greeting ones spouse may seem inconsequential but it carries surprising significance.
Ones spouse deserve politeness and acknowledgement.
Adding warmth and enthusiasm gives one the chance to touch a mate's heart in subtle, unspoken ways.

Being nice: 

The first thing I say to my wife when I wake in the morning is significant;
The look on my face when I get in the car speaks volume;
The energy in my voice when I speak to her on the phone sets the mood.

I must learn to act in a way that everything I say and do express the fact that I am really, really glad to be with my wife. 
A simple word, a touch, a tone of voice makes all the difference.
I will seek every opportunity (and on a regular basis) to bless and greet my wife.
Love is a choice!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 8

Love is not jealous.
Love is not selfish.
Love puts others first.
Love refuses to let jealousy in.

Envy leads to fighting, quarreling, and every evil thing (James 3:16; 4:1-2).

Love ought to lead me to celebrate my wife's successes rather than resent them.

I pray that Love make me see my wife as completing me, not competing with me.

As a loving husband I dare to cheer my wife when she wins.
I must learn not to compare my weaknesses to her strengths.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 7

Love believes the BEST.
Two rooms sit deep in my heart: Appreciation room and Depreciation room. 
I visit both rooms at different times. 
I started walking into the Appreciation room the day I first met my wife.
In deed I started posting kind words and phrases describing her good attributes.
Over the years since we got married, I visit this room occasionally.

But with passing days I have become a frequent visitor to the Depreciation room which is further down the darker part of the hallway.
This where I have posted all of my disappointments with my wife.
The hurts, unkind words , frustrations are also on the wall of this room.
Her weaknesses and failures are written in bold letters.
This is where the big guns of revenge are stored for the next fight.
Some unpleasant words and even hateful ones found their way in.

Since love chooses to believe the best, I choose to no longer make the Depreciation room my abode.
I will not be running to this room any time I am frustrated or hurt by my wife.

The Appreciation room from this day becomes my permanent residence.
I choose to love and be praying for wife without denying the existence of the Depreciation room. 
I must begin to get into the habit of reining my negative thoughts and teach myself to focus on the positive attributes of my wife.
It is time to let love lead my thoughts and my focus.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 6

Love is not irritable. 
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city (Prov. 16:32).
Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive.
As a loving husband, I will remain calm and patient, showing mercy and restraining my temper.
I must learn to be a joy and not a jerk!
I choose to be a calming breeze and not a storm waiting to happen !
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).
I will teach myself to respond to my wife with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.

LOVE DARe: Day 5

Love is not rude.
Love is not unpleasant, condescending, unbecoming, embarrassing, or irritating! 
In this dare I learn that I need to intentionally behave in away that is pleasant for my wife to be around.
I must, at all cost, avoid things that frustrate her or cause her discomfort.
I must mind my manners.
I must dare to give my best to my own. 
Love is not rude but lifts me to a higher standard.
I dare to be delightful!
I must be gracious.

Friday, April 4, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 4

Love that is not selfish is Thoughtful.
Thoughtlessness is a silent enemy to a loving relationship.
I am reminded of when I fell in love with Mary, being thoughtful came quite naturally.
For some reasons I now spend more time thinking about my problems, my personal desires, myself.
I must rekindle the ember of thoughtfulness.
I will endeavor to learn how my wife uniquely thinks.
Instead of "ready, shoot, aim", I will engage my mind first before engaging my lips!

Cleric defrocked for satanism claims: The Presbyterian Church of East Africa on Thursday defrocked a former moderator

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa on Thursday defrocked a former moderator after he claimed the church was riddled with devil worship and homosexuality.
A statement by the church’s decision making body, the business committee, read by moderator David Gathanju said Dr David Githii would no longer be referred to as reverend.
Dr Githii was directed to surrender church vestments, but will remain an ordinary member.
“The Kajiado Presbytery defrocked him as per the procedure of the church. The church had already received his resignation letter and decided to let him go. We have endorsed his defrocking,” the Rev Gathanju said.
Dr Githii, however, insisted his allegations were true and that the church had resorted to defrocking clerics who dared talk about the vices.
“What I said is true. Devil worship has been practised in the church since the 1990s while homosexuality has been rife since 2001,” he said.
Several clerics in the church were aware of the problems but dared not say anything, Dr Githii claimed.
The Rev Gathanju, however, maintained neither devil worship nor homosexuality were practised at the church and that anyone found engaging in the practices would be expelled.
He said Dr Githii had never made his allegations in any committee or court of the church.
“We are aware that Dr Githii made several assertions in regard to what he termed ‘satanic symbols’ in our church and even government institutions. These are his personal opinions that the church found to have no biblical or theological basis.”
When Dr Githii succeeded the Rev Dr Jesse Kamau as PCEA moderator in 2003, he changed the method of worship to become “more agreeable to the modern Christian community”.
He also linked some symbols in the church to Freemasonry and devil worship, leading to their destruction at St Andrews Church, Nairobi, in 2004.
A row over Freemasonry split the PCEA, leading to the removal of priceless historical artefacts from its prayer houses.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 3

Love is not selfish (Philippians 2:3).
Love is never satisfied except in the welfare of others.
Today's DARe speaks to the very heart of my Christian faith.
Paul exhorted the Romans in Romans 12:10 to be devoted to each in brotherly love and to give preference to one another in honor.
The word that basically means the opposite of love is selfishness.
It is definitely a trait I hate in other people but justify in myself.
I must learn not to put my interests, desires, and priorities in front of my wife.
I am going to teach myself not to constantly complain about the time and energy I spend meeting the needs of my wife.
As Paul spoke to the Corinthians, my love should not seek its own (1 Cor. 13:5).
My actions, no matter how generous they will be, must not be motivated by the desire for bragging rights or expectation to receive a reward.
I choose to put the happiness of my wife above my own.
I choose to genuinely demonstrate love.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

LOVE DARe: Day 2

Kindness is love in action.
Love in its truest sense is not based on feelings.
Kindness is love in action aimed at maximizing a positive circumstance.
Kindness creates a blessing (Proverbs 3:3-4.)
Because I desire to be kind to my wife, I will be careful on how I treat her without being unnecessarily harsh.
I will be sensitive, tender, speaking the truth in love.
I will serve my wife without worrying about my rights.
I will not be obstinate, stubborn, or reluctant.
I will cooperate and stay flexible; compromise and accommodate.
I will listen first instead of demanding my way.
I will be the first to greet, the first to smile, the first to serve, and the first to forgive.
I must learn to demonstrate kindness, before I can learn to love.