Patience. The very word can cause us to roll our eyes. That's because when we think of patience, we think of waiting. And we don't like to wait.
But it seems as though we're always waiting for something. Waiting for a certain thing to happen, for one thing to begin, and another to end. Waiting for more time or more money. Waiting for our marriage to get better, or for our spouse to change. Waiting for the kids to grow up. Waiting for our prayers to be answered.
Waiting can be painful and difficult. But God says that waiting is good. That's because it produces patience in us.
Paul makes it clear that not only are we supposed to desire patience, we're to pursue it (1 Timothy 6:11). If you're like me, the thought of pursuing patience doesn't bring forth shouts of joy and excitement!
But when we chase patience, it pleases God. Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-2: "I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love."
So how do we pursue patience?
Pray. One way is to ask God for it. Prayer has an amazing way of helping us become more patient.
Make a mental adjustment. I've found one of the best ways to develop patience is to think of my waiting times as "waiting on the Lord." So instead of waiting on my husband to change, I think of waiting on the Lord to work changes in him. And in me! That whole mind adjustment makes it much easier to be patient with my spouse.
Be thankful. Every time we lose our patience, we can stop and thank God for keeping his with us.
Keep quiet. Through my own marriage, I've discovered that patience means biting my tongue when I feel like wagging it. It means learning to "shut up and pray" when I'd rather "open up and vent."
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