For many years I struggled with loving my wife. I could always say it and most of the time I felt it, but the challenge for me was knowing how to show it in a consistent way that made sense. Even when I thought I was showing love in one way, my other actions would contradict me and cause Janet to question if I really loved her or not.
One of the problems I had with loving my wife and my children was the way I would lose my patience with them. They just never knew when my patience would run out and I would turn on them in some sort of harsh demanding way. I didn’t want to treat them badly and I had no excuse for it. So I just blamed it on my lack of patience.
But the truth is my lack of patience and the love I said I had for my wife and kids were in direct contradiction of each other. Because if I really loved them I would have also been patient with them.
Love is Patient
1 Cor. 13:4 “love is patient ……”
When we love there must be the presence of patience. The more we walk in love the more patient we should become. Also we can grow in our capacity to love by exercising our patience.
When the word gives us a command to love one another, you could also translate that to mean have patience with one another. So if we do not have patience with our spouse we are not obeying the command of the Lord, “to love one another.”
Here are a few things we need to keep in mind about patience.
Patience is a choice……………John 13:34-35 “I give you a new commandment—to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
We cannot excuse ourselves by saying we do not have patience as if some people have it and some people don’t. If we know that love is a choice and therefore an act of our will, then we have to accept patience as a choice and an act of our will.
Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit……………Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
As believers we have to understand that patience is a part of our spiritual DNA. So if we are truly born again then we have a source available to us for patience that goes beyond our natural ability. Therefore when we are challenged to be patient and we don’t think we have it in us, we have to learn to rely on a the God that lives in us to be our source.
Patience comes through experience……………James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
We all know the more experience we have with something the more patient we become. So when dealing with one another and with ourselves we must allow for valuable experience to do its work. Just think of a time when you were new at doing something and it didn’t take much to frustrate you. Then after you gained experience in that area you became the one that is able to keep cool under pressure.
Patience comes through understanding…………….Matthew 7:1-4 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 3 And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?”
Patience comes from understanding and impatience comes from judgement. If I try to understand why something is not happening the way I want it to then I’m exercising my patience. But if I’m passing judgement on how something should be happening the way I expect it to, then I’m showing impatience.
Patience is waiting with expectation……………Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.”…………….Galatians 6:9 “So we must not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not give up.”
We wait with expectations, but our ultimate expectation must be placed on the Lord. He is the only one we can depend on to never let us down. And we have to also believe that as we patiently wait on Him, it is His will and His plan in our lives that really matters in the end.
Notice: There is one piece of bad advice on patience that has floated around for many years. Maybe you have heard it before. It goes like this, “don’t pray for patience because when you do God will give you tribulations in order to work patience into your life.”
That simply is not true. Patience is something we should want more of and we should be praying for God’s help with it. The word does teach that tribulations or trials will work patience into our lives, but that is simply the product of experience as I have already said.
To ask God for His help with patience is no different from asking Him for help with love, faith, or joy. They all come from Him and if we need more of anything that comes from God it makes perfect sense to go to Him to get it.
Question: Do you desire to walk in greater love by exercising more patience? Let us know in the comments. We love to hear from you.
This is our third post from our “Love Is” series. You may also like:
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