There’s video of me at about age 6 at a Christmas gathering at my grandparent’s home. I’m obviously very excited as my grandpa is passing out gifts to my siblings and cousins. I begin to bounce on the couch as the anticipation grows. For some reason, everyone else is receiving gifts, but not me. I know mine are under the tree (I saw my name on the tags!), but grandpa isn’t grabbing my gifts. I know this isn’t intentional, but it’s all I can do to wait patiently and not yell, “GRANDPA, I need a gift!” Instead of yelling, I bounce higher and higher and it’s quite apparent that patience is not my strong suit.
As I begin to memorize and live the definition of love as written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7*, I find myself wanting to avoid the first description of love; Love is patient. Wouldn’t it be easier to just skip over the tough attribute and move on to something easier, like “love does not brag?”
The video clip of me as a youngster shows a lack of patience with circumstances, and to a certain extent, maturity assists with developing this type of patience. However, the type of patience required to love fully is different. If I say I love someone, I will not have a short fuse or lose my temper when dealing with them. For me personally, this type of patience does not come naturally or with maturity.
My husband is pretty close to perfect, and I should have no issue whatsoever being patient with him. Sometimes, however, he doesn’t do things on my timeframe (gasp!), and my first reaction is to bless him with frequent, friendly reminders (aka nagging). I need to show him I love him by patiently (and quietly) waiting for him to complete a task.
I love my mother, however, I’m not nearly as patient with her as I should be. She’s getting older and although she’s doing well for her age, there are times she frustrates me. Now more than ever, she needs me to show my love for her by being patient.
My kids are adults, and sometimes they act in a mature manner and sometimes not so much. I need to allow them to make mistakes and choose their own path. Surprisingly, some things I believe to be mistakes turn out to be just fine. They need me to be patient as they continue to grow into amazing adults.
I need to be willing to make allowances for the flaws and imperfections I see in others not just because this makes me more loving, but because I am keenly aware of my own faults and weaknesses and would appreciate the same tolerance.
As you age, are you becoming more patient with those you love, or finding irritated to be your default?
(Next: Love is Kind)
*“Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not want what belongs to others. It does not brag. It is not proud. It is not rude. It does not look out for its own interests. It does not easily become angry. It does not keep track of other people’s wrongs. Love is not happy with evil. But it is full of joy when the truth is spoken. It always protects. It always trusts. It always hopes. It never gives up.” (New International Reader’s Version-NIRV)