Kindness: Qualities of a Well-Lived Story

Dr. Dan Allender and Rachael Clinton Chen begin to explore the qualities of a well-lived story, beginning with kindness, in a conversation with their spouses Becky Allender and Rev. Michael S. Chen. They talk about how both Becky and Michael embody kindness, and throughout the episode, you’ll hear how stories of both hope and heartache impact how they extend kindness to their spouses and those around them.


“There was a sensitivity growing up and feeling quite lonely in many parts of my youth that sensitized me to wanting to extend kindness and know people who aren’t usually known.” Michael S. Chen

“You’re inviting me to a different possibility. You’re inviting me to bring my more scared parts into this space. I deeply appreciate how fierce your kindness is and how it is changing me. That’s an important thing to name about kindness, is sometimes it’s really fierce and courageous.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“Niceness is a commitment to ease, to comfort, to almost the convenience of having no conflict whereas kindness means covering the body of somebody who might be harmed to stepping into a relationship with someone who might be threatening. Ferocity differentiates kindness from mere niceness.” Dr. Dan Allender

“To see the other is the other part of kindness.” Becky Allender

“Kindness can disrupt the familiar and I think that’s a really hard, really beautiful process.” Michael S. Chen

“In one sense I would prefer kindness to any honor in the world. The only eyes that matter are yours. The kindness tells the truth, but when that truth comes there is something in my own heart that says I can rest in a way that a rather frenzied man like me doesn’t tend to have a lot of, but that kindness sets something in my soul to receive and let down in a way that nothing else quite ever brings that level of joy.” Dr. Dan Allender

“When you are kind, it reflects the Father’s kindness. I don’t deserve kindness all the time, but often most often I get it from you (Dan) and it’s just such a joy.” Becky Allender

“Kindness changes us—it provokes and evokes hope. It invites our imagination to not only want more but to want to create more.” Rachael Clinton Chen