Love is Patient

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

1 Corinthians 13:4

Marriage is a piece of cake, right? If you’re married, you’re probably chuckling a bit (or maybe you spit out your coffee!) - marriage may be a very good thing, but easy is definitely not a word I’d use to describe the institution. My niece got married at the end of June; her tear-filled wedding vows were bubbling over with the overwhelming emotions. Then a few weeks later she posted on Facebook how hard marriage can be, and all the fights she’s already had - over towels! Can you relate? I’ve been married for almost nine years now and I feel like I’m nowhere near having this thing figured out!

So what do we do? How do we love someone who at times seems nothing like the person we were so “in love” with on our wedding day (not to mention the fact that we’re probably nothing like the person we thought we were either!). Joni Eareckson Tada shares her thoughts in today’s devotional titled “Love is Patient.” She focuses on Paul’s words in I Corinthians 13:4: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

When we think about true love, we also need to think about the fruits of the Spirit, because the two are inseparable. We can’t truly love our spouses - or anyone else in our lives for that matter - unless we bear with the faults and shortcomings of others, allowing them to grow in Christ on his schedule, not ours! Joni puts it this way:

For the Christian celebrating decades of marriage—or just getting married—it’s not about passion and romance; it’s about patience in sickness and health, in wealth and want, for better or for worse. What’s more, in any relationship, God asks you to show patience with other’s shortcomings, to display mercy toward them, to release them from meeting all your righteous expectations, to bear with their weaknesses, and to not be itching to correct them.

We all long to be loved - loved by our spouses, loved by our family, loved by our friends, loved by God. How can we in turn know we are loving others as God loved us? Joni gives this advice: The fact is, when you love someone with patience, you love them as God loves you.