Bible tells us; Love is patient ( 1cor13:4).
Love cannot flourish without fits and starts. Love cannot grow in a tentative atmosphere. Like new shoes, Love must be worn enough for us to adjust to fit.
People who have few fitful year (or months) and decide to scuttle never had the satisfaction of seeing mature relationship. That is like eating green apples and and concluding that apples must be bad for us.
Naturally, time does not heal everything. Just getting older does not of itself guarantee a better relationship. But patience does allow us the opportunity to mature, develop and find new facets about our lover which we might never have guessed.
Let's look at some hurtful reasons we lack patient;
1. We Are Narcissistic : this is a two naira word which means we are in love with ourselves. It comes from Greek mythology in which a young man falls in love with his own reflection.
When we are deeply in love with our own needs and desires, we have little time for our mate. We want our partner to comply with our expectations and to conform immediately. We see our partner's life as only as it affects us.
2. We need to control our partner : if we allow our spouse to mature and grow at his own pace , he could suddenly gain some new interest which do not fit our pattern. He may take up bird watching or kick boxing. Given too much time he/she could want to become a whole person.
That would frighten some of us terribly. Impatient says, " I know what you should become . Why don't you get with it?" Impatient is a lack of respect for our partner's growth process.
3. We have Poor Diplomatic Skills: Charles wanted his wife to take up bowling . He loved the sport. Once a week he went to the bowling alley with the boys and enjoyed the sound of pins smacking, colliding and collapsing. Charles liked the laughter and the competition.
Understandably he wanted his wife, Kate, to join him on another night. Enthusiastically , Charles encouraged , pushed , persisted and eventually demanded that she give the sport a try.
You guessed it. Because Charles wanted Kate to play now , play well and play often, she gave up the sport in its infancy. Charles lacked diplomatic skills to accomplish what he wanted desperately. Frustrated , he resorted to pressure and lost the reward for both of them.
4. We are more comfortable with anger: since we have little faith in our ability to persuade and guide our partner, many of us resort to the method with which we are the most familiar. We try to intimidate him with our anger. Given the choice between patience and anger, we generate and use the latter.
"Whenever Roy was tired of waiting ," Bet explained, "he would place his hands behind his head with his elbow sticking out . That allowed his biceps to show their full size. His eyes eyes then went into that famous state of his. Everyone in the family knew what that meant. The discussion was over and he thought it was time to get on with it".
Anger may be appropriate under certain circumstances , and certainly each member of the family has a right to display his in an acceptable form , but don't let anger smother patience.
The fruit of the spirit ( Gal 5:33,23) provides a great many healthy, constructive emotions. Part of that fruit is patience. If we allow the to spirit to control us , the more we are able to display loving behaviour . The spirit helps us reach above what we are naturally able to offer our partner.
Proverbs is packed with wisdom. A passage tells us: "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes the city" ( Prov16:32).
If we choose the patient route to marriage, what are some of the benefits are likely to reap?
Why Be Patient?
1. It takes time to develop Good Skills: At first, most of us fumble through our relationships There is some excitement over getting to know each other,but that isn't the same as the satisfaction of a mature relationship. After we get to know each other , we can communicate, anticipate and even predict on a far classier level.
" I've learned not to be so negative," Efe said. " whenever we got into a discussion , I used to mention all the reasons things wouldn't work. My reservations would drive Peter to the wall. Now, if I want to get my point across, I'll try to be more positive."
"At first we were terrible in bed ," Patrick told me. " It's a wonder we lasted. But after a while we started to understand what each other needed and expected. We also found out what we were afraid of "
Couples can't do that over the weekend. Patience is the great teacher ( if it has a good student)
2. We See The Person We Love Become More Beautiful : There are several types of beauty. One is young and new. Another is experienced and mature. Neither are more beautiful than the other , but the second type has richness and depth that is incomparable.
-Be patient and you may get to see the impetuous young husband become steady , considerate person.
-Be patient and you could see an irresponsible husband come to realize how important family is.
- Be patent and watch a nervous , uncertain young wife grow into a confident woman.
- Be patient and you might help a speechless wife open up and show you what a great treasure she really is.
Patience is NOT a cure-all. Some people and situations will not improve. To the contrary , too many souls become more cantankerous and ornery with time.
But many of us know we are working with a good material. The basics are there, but they may have not yet become what they could be. That person us worth the time it will take to see them develop.
Speaking of how Christians should teach each other, Paul wrote:"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient , bearing with one another in love"(Eph4:2).
I want my wife to treat me patiently. When I mess up I expect her to know that I'm not perfect and please allow for my jerks, starts and sputterings. The problem is though, that I'm not always generous in extending the same patience to her. Surely it is reasonable to treat my wife in same manner as I would like to be treated.
Hmmm.. food for thought!