Devotion #35

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

Patience is another way we demonstrate love in our marriages, yet it is something so many of us struggle to do. Patience is accepting a delay or suffering without getting angry or upset. In a busy world of immediate gratification, patience is an attribute that is often pushed aside. But if we are to put on an attitude of love, we need to get better at waiting in our marriages. 

Patiently loving our spouses means we allow them to move at their own pace—whether it’s getting out the door or getting their life on track. And when we’re trusting God is moving in a person, patiently loving them involves waiting. It can be so hard to wait at these times. Waiting for your spouse to finish getting ready can be challenging enough, but waiting for God to move in their heart or to answer a prayer of healing or restoration can be downright impossible in our own power. Sadly, in this broken world, this is the tension where many of us live. 

Waiting is one of the most difficult things we do—that’s why it’s one of the most common exhortations in scripture.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:14 ESV.

You can find similar words all throughout the bible—it’s pretty clear that God wants us to get good at waiting. 

So why don’t we wait well? Because we’re broken. Our tendency is to fix the problem instead of waiting for God to move. We want to jump in, identify the problem, and offer solutions because we don’t like the tension created in the gap between what we have and what we want. In the waiting, we can question the goodness of God, and we can judge the hearts of the people making us wait.

But the truth is, waiting is vital to our growing faith—that’s why God allows situations that try our patience. Waiting reveals our passions, our treasures, and our idols. Choosing patience in these difficult moments, choosing to surrender our idols and replace them with His passions and desires brings incredible blessings of supernatural peace. It is what He calls us to do, and when we choose obedience to the point of sacrificing what we want, He is glorified. 

Patiently loving our spouses means we pour out grace instead of harsh comments, it means we show lovingkindness rather than indifference, it means we offer forgiveness in place of judgment.

We all have an agenda—a plan for our day, the weekend, our lives. This means we all operate with specific goals in mind—and when someone or something gets in the way of that goal, we can lose our patience. Our self-focused hearts want what we want when we want it, and we don’t want to wait. We grow frustrated with our spouses when they don’t move at the same pace as our plan. 

The problem is they don’t always value the same things as we do. Recognizing the agendas we carry around with us are ours, and not necessarily theirs, is how we begin to find an attitude of patience. They often have an agenda that’s different than ours, they have goals and dreams and passions that impact their plans and their responses. Understanding those goals is how you grow in your patience for your spouse. 

I don’t wait well. I like things to move at my pace. But when I am pressing my agenda on my spouse, I am not loving him as God calls me to love. It all comes down to this: if I ultimately want what God wants —for Him to be glorified in my marriage, for the people in my life to see Him at work in my marriage, for Him to rescue the people in my life—then I need to love my spouse as He loves him. And if I am going to love him well, I need to put on a compassionate heart, I need to be kind, meek, humble, and patient. None of those attributes come easily or naturally—they all only come from the Holy Spirit moving in my heart. And if I am going to love as God loves, I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do the transforming work on my heart that He needs to do. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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