Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV
Read it again. How does that scripture immediately make you feel?
Patience is, according to the Oxford University Press, the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset or angry. Basically, those lacking in patience want things now and want their way. We naturally have desires and hopes that we want to see fulfilled immediately. Instant gratification almost doesn’t seem fast enough at times. What this simply means is that there are times when we feel the world revolves around our own immediate needs. Being impatient has its drawbacks. People that are impatient tend to have more than enough feelings of frustration and anger. They can only seem to achieve short term goals, so long term goals like a healthy marriage may seem far-fetched and they don’t even know it. Let’s compare the characteristics of an impatient person and a patient one.
As I was trying to come up with a clever story of having great patience with my husband…I drew a blank. Instead, I thought of a time when my husband was patient with me. Like the time he was sitting in the car on Sunday morning, kids dressed, hair combed, buckled in with their pop-tarts, while I was still trying to get ready. In my mind, I did him a huge favor and brought my make-up with me to put on during the drive (plus the natural lighting is fabulous of course). I have to say, I am pretty lucky to have such a patient husband who would make sure the kids are loaded in the car, fed, and listening to music while waiting on me instead of tapping his foot at the bottom of the steps and rushing me by telling me to hurry. For that, I am blessed. It doesn’t happen every Sunday like this but for this lesson this is the day that was important.
I heard a sermon on television about patience and the one thing that struck me as something new was this… love IS patient. Now, every instance since, when I read the word “patient” in God’s Word I insert the word “love” or “lovingly” or something to that effect in order to have a better understanding of what it means to be patient. It’s amazing what happens. I give praise to our Lord every day for the patience He has with me and for His love. For God, they are one in the same and for us they should be also. Our God is patient and long-suffering with us. He can and will wait on us.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Insert the word “love” for the word “be patient” in the scripture above.
What does it mean to you to “love in or love your tribulation”?
It makes the scripture a little harder to swallow instead of sounding like an ideal way to live. When something is harder to swallow we put more effort into getting it down. What in the world does that mean to “love" our tribulations (hard times)? It is simple, your tribulations are what God is going to use as a testimony to others later. It might be hard to see it at the time but you will find that when you share your testimony with others you grow to love your tribulations. Sharing your hard times with others gives them permission to share their hard times as well.
What are some tribulations you have had in your past? List them.
What are some tribulations you are currently under now? List them.
Do you believe that God will use every one of these for good?
He will. Read Isaiah 61:3
God’s promise is to make the hard stuff, beautiful.
You get impatient with your own life, trying to master a habit or control a sin and in your frustration beginning to wonder where the power of God is. Be patient. God is using today’s difficulties to strengthen you for tomorrow. His is equipping you. The God who makes things grow will help you bear fruit. ~ Max Lucado
With His strength, find patience. Be patient with yourself as you learn to be patient with your husband and show love.
Since God is so patient with each of us, we should strive to exhibit the same patience as well. Today, pray for your marriage and make it your challenge to show patience with your husband as well as yourself. Some of us (like myself) find it easy to throw around words of anger and frustration that can be hurtful. Others of us have our own personal weapons we throw when we are angry and frustrated due to lack of patience. What is your weapon of choice?
Today, I’d be willing to bet you will feel as though your patience is being tested. For today and the next 39 days, show patience and keep negative remarks and reactions silent. Remember, as you exhibit patience with your husband you should insert “love” as you remind yourself to be patient.
Love is patient, Love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4
Now, study His Word on patience and talk to God about situations in your life in which you need His strength to help you endure with patience.
I am married to my high school sweetheart. We've been pressing ahead together for over 24 years. We have 5 beautiful children; 3 by my own body and 2 through foster to adopt. I wrote this Bible study in 2009, years ago, for myself and shared it on my blog. It is very dear to my heart. It's been tweaked and edited many times and I'm proud to be bringing it back to you. Over the years I received countless emails from women who credited this study with changing their marriage for the better. Since removing it from my old blog I have received just as many emails asking when it would return. I hope you enjoy spending your time in God's Word with me.