As we approach Valentine’s Day much is said of love, but what is love? For a few days I want to explore this topic and see what the Bible has to say.
“Love is patient” we read in 1 Corinthians 13:4. I can thus reverse it by saying that love is not impatient. Love gives the object of itself time. Love does not therefore require instant gratification.
I see this as a stumbling block in our time. So much in our world can be instant. Everything from instant oatmeal to fast food to test results in less than 24 hours has taught us we don’t need to wait. That said instant is not often best.
Give it time. Love can give a relationship time. Patience means letting someone learn life’s lessons rather than nagging or doing it for them in order to “keep the peace.” In life we deal with people. People need time to grow, learn, mess up, change. In a relationship love can wait while someone grows or matures.
Ok so I know growth takes time. I know anything or anyone worth having will take time. Sill how to I endure? How do I actually be patient when I want what is right and I want it now? James 1:3 tells us that “the trying of your faith develops patience.” Experience builds patience. You may note that a baby is not patient. He cries until he gets what he wants. He most definitely is not patient. Yet as we grow older, experience life’s struggles, then the potential exists to be patient with others. When you’ve been there done that you understand. Thus you can hang in there while another learns and grows. You can do this because you love him or her enough to give it time.
As I look at these building blocks for love I want to also give real examples. Thinking about patience I am reminded of last year and the patience required of my husband. For much of last year I could not do all those things a housewife would be expected to do. Much of 2022 Bill did the laundry, cooked the meals, loaded the dish washer, cleaned house and more. Meanwhile I suffered in pain, laid in bed or in my recliner, went to doctor appointments, and took lots of meds. Still he did not push me to do what I could not. He waited until I recovered somewhat before then having me pick up my chores again. In that trying year he at times had to be my nurse, my encourager, my bill payer and more. Bill endured this painful time with me. That is patience. That is love.
Questions to consider:
1. Can you wait?
2. Are you willing to give him or her time without nagging?
3. Can you hang in there when the other person struggles to learn, perhaps changing how you. Teach in order to match how they learn?
4. Do you really love him or her or in reality are you centered on yourself?