Relationships can be messy, difficult and yet incredibly rewarding.
There are many things that go into a healthy, vibrant relationship like marriage. But I believe there is one vital ingredient to a long-lasting, healthy relationship: Patience.
In Galatians 5:22 – as part of the fruit of the Spirit we find patience: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law”.
Then in 1 Corinthians 13:4 – “Love is patient…” The author Paul is talking about the true meaning of loving someone well and he starts with patience. In Galatians he is talking about evidence in our lives that we are growing spiritually, and right in the middle is patience.
So let’s take a closer look at patience:
Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering, without getting angry or upset.
Wow, that is impossible, but incredibly powerful. Imagine if you could do that on a consistent basis. Your life would be less stressful, you would be healthier and your influence with other people would go up. So how do you do that?
The Benefits of Developing Patience
Tips on How to Develop Patience
None of this is possible on a consistent basis without including God. On our own we will fall short every time, yet we can plug into the power of God. So in those moments when you do not want to be patient, a quick prayer asking for help can change everything.
One last thing, when someone is mistreating you or abusing you, patience should only apply with how you respond. Not responding in a way that fuels the fire. You should never simply take abuse. Setting boundaries and consequences is important in those situations. If your in an abusive relationship go get help and set clear boundaries.
Here are four ways develop your character:
Developing your character takes courage to face your strongholds, habits and hang-ups. It’s hard to do but the rewards are huge. Lead on.
One of the promises in the Bible is found in Joshua 1:5 “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Author Graham Cooke talks about this promise in his booklet called Drawing Close: See God’s Face and be Changed Forever. He says this:
“God likes to hide-in fact He invented the game Hide & Seek. In certain seasons, He will reveal Himself to us; in others, He will hide from us. God only hides because He wants to teach us to look for Him. We all want Him to be manifest in our lives, all the time, but God sometimes wants to hide and draw us deeper into his presence. If God is hiding from us-but He also promised never to leave nor forsake us-we can extrapolate one thing: God is hiding in plain sight, teaching us to look for Him in a different way. God is unpredictable but completely consistent. We always know where we are with God because He never changes, but we seldom know what He’s going to do next. Go will push us into places where we are not equipped to be. To survive and flourish there, we have but one choice: Seek God in a place of rest. Let Him carry us forward. God hasn’t called us to do the reasonable, the possible or the attainable. He has called us to do the outrageously impossible.”
That challenged me in a fresh way today as I read it. When God feels distant and we feel alone, we aren’t. He is right there in plain site patiently waiting for us to discover Him in a different way. He is constantly active in our lives, whether He is pushing us into a place we are not equipped to be or patiently waiting for us to open our eyes.
I love the thought that God hides so that we can seek Him and find Him in a fresh way. To me this speaks of being active in my faith. Not staying comfortably inside my box but pushing forward through barriers and obstacles. I love that last line about God not calling us to the reasonable, the possible or the attainable but the outrageously impossible. It’s only then that we can say Only God could have made that happen. Those are the times that we grow the most and our faith is increased.
If you are feeling stuck in your faith maybe it’s time to look for God in a different way. Start praying and asking God to show you that new way and then pay attention and be ready to get out of your box.