Free will and kindness
Believe it or not, free will is a major topic of discussion by some scientists. Of course they don’t frame the issue the way those who follow Christ do, but they none-the-less are studying it. One study, reported on here, found that those who were primed to doubt free will were “significantly more likely to cheat” on a test. It seems that thinking one has free will may lead to better behaviour, while feeling we don’t have free will can cause us to be less honest, and probably less helpful, less kind, and so on. It’s easy to see why this would be so – those who feel responsible for their actions are acting better than those who don’t feel responsible for what they do. (It seems to me the study rather strongly supports the idea we do have free will, but that’s just an aside).
Christianity is divided over the free will issue. While on the macro it’s a salvation issue, many take it to an extreme – some saying we can never do anything that is outside of God’s will. Does “I have no ability to act other than how God programmed me” result in folks being less nice, maybe even mean? Is this way of thinking used to justify all manner of poor behaviour?
What I think about that is irrelevant to you – but I would encourage you to think about how you view free will, and ask yourself if that view is resulting in some less than nice behaviour towards your bride, or your children. Additionally, if you and your bride differ on free will, does that seem to mirror something in how you treat each other?