Oh patience. Can I admit it’s not my strongest character trait? But can I also admit that I’m one of those weird Christians who actually do pray to receive patience?
Like I’ve already said, patience isn’t my strongest virtue, so yep, I need to pray for it. And yep, the Lord will often give me opportunities to practice patience. Especially with my kids.
Especially during summer vacation.
It is currently summer vacation. But I digress.
I absolutely love my husband, Donkey (watch Shrek, then you’ll understand), but I admit that I get impatient. I have what they call Misophonia, so I often lose my patience when I’m hearing certain noises that trigger it (screeching, repetitive noise, whistling through the nose while breathing, chewing…you name it, it hurts my ears and causes almost instant headaches…and impatience). During the first year or two of our marriage, I was so enamored with Donkey that these things didn’t bother me. But then they slowly crept in, and my patience level slipped. And slipped. Aaannnddd…you get the idea.
Trust me, it isn’t only noise that causes impatience in me. It’s truly my own sinful self.
Having patience in a marriage is absolutely necessary. If there’s no patience with one another, there is constant nagging (which the Bible warns us not to do here, and here, and here, among other places) and bickering. Who wants to be in a marriage that is full of battles?
A lack of patience seems to have its root in anger. When you feel impatient with someone, you’re usually (if you examine yourself) becoming angry with them, and sometimes rather quickly.
“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the hearts of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9, ESV).
I don’t know about you, but 99% of the time, my impatience stems from anger for not getting my own way (…can you say “childish”?? Yikes. I have a lot to work on!). I think it’s so good for us to sit down by ourselves with our Bibles and really examine why we act the way we do. Knowing this may really help us to change our behaviours in the future, and strengthen our marriages and other relationships.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2, NIV).
Don’t be afraid to pray for patience. More so, however, don’t be afraid to ask God to change you. I’ve been praying that for the past two days now, that God wouldn’t change my circumstances, but change me, and I can tell you, what a breath of fresh air! He is changing me, and it’s freeing.
And I’m pretty sure my husband and kids are appreciating it, too. 😉
What about you? Do you struggle with patience? Is there anything–even if it isn’t impatience–you need to ask God to change in you? I’d love to hear so I can pray for you, too. ❤