One of the manifestations of this balance between strength and gentleness is common courtesy; manners, which is missing in many marriages, many homes and many churches.
Landorf writes, “Manners are the highest form of Christ-like love”.
In the context of a marriage, common courtesy is part of what Paul meant when he said a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church. It is part of Peter means when wives are encouraged to be cooperative and respectful. Manners are demonstrations of honor and love within the home. They are often small, but authentic acts of kindness extended toward others because we desire to honor them; and honoring one another is what we are called to do as Christians.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
Ephesians 4:32 commands us to be kind to one another. This is theme that runs all through the New Testament. Kindness is a reflection on the character of God, who is revealed in Scripture as both loving and kind. In Jesus we see strength of conviction, strong leadership and courageous decision-making. But we also see a kind and gentle spirit. Kindness and gentleness are both fruits of the Spirit; they are manifestations of God’s grace in our lives.
“Please” and “thank you”, “excuse me”, “I’m sorry”, “forgive me” and “may I help you” are all expressions of kindness and love. They are the mark of God’s people. May our homes be marked by such love; may Valley be a place where the value of common courtesy is held high and may we be a people of kindness and gentleness.