A random internet definition of the word patient is:
- able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious
Really? Without annoyance?
The very first thing the Bible mentions to define the word “love” is “patient”. Patience is the sweet fruit of love, while impatience is the foul fruit of selfishness. Using the Bible as my basis, we are to:
- Bear with each other in love (Ephesians 4:2)
- Be patient to the weak (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
- Challenge and Correct with patience (2 Timothy 4:2)
- Be patient in tough times (Romans 12:12)
- Endure sufferings (2 Corinthians 1:6)
- Wait patiently for God’s leading (Psalm 37:7)
As an overweight, insecure teenager, I wanted desperately to have a boyfriend. To say I was impatient would have been an understatement. I was not looking for “God’s leading”, someone to challenge me to be a better human being or even the goose bumps & butterflies that come with love. I was just looking for someone to prove I was loveable. The longer it took to receive this proof … the less important any qualifications were for the individual. Ultimately, when I did enter into my first (and only serious relationship outside of dad) it had nothing to do with him, or us …. just what I could receive … validation. Eventually, in a very complex layering of lessons, I learned that we were not meant to be together. That we did not lift each other up. That our foundation was built on selfishness … what each of us intended to receive. After the break up I had no interest in another serious relationship because I realized a healthy relationship was not at all about what I could receive … but, what I could GIVE. Frankly, I wasn’t interested. To say I was waiting “patiently” for the right man would not be truth. But, I do believe I was being “prepared”.
I am certain there is a huge relationship between patience and preparation. Patience can offer the time needed for another to be who they were intended to be. However, I have found, it is more about the time needed for me to be who I need to be. Without patience my first response to dad’s loud chewing would not be kindness. His response to my smelly peanut buttery utensils would likely be irritable. Without patience it is easy to demand our own way. I know the way I make the bed with the seams of the sheets down … is correct … Patience offers me the time to prepare my thoughts, to realize this matter did not need to be“challenged or corrected”…. because it really doesn’t matter which direction the sheets are turned (when dad turns them up). Patience allows time to realize that “different” can be acceptable … maybe not preferred … but, acceptable … and most importantly loving.
Ultimately, love is patient because God is patient.
Love is …..