Love Requires Patience

In 1 Corintians 13:4 Paul wrote, “Love is patient.” Indeed patience is required in many circumstances.

Patience is a lifelong need in the romantic relationship of couples during dating, courtship, marriage or domestic partnership, staying together for decades, and especially in old age when one or both begin to lose mental and physical capability.

Patience is essential in rearing children. Parents offer love to their children at birth, and children respond with their own expressions of love. As children’s individualism develops, parents want to give them leeway but also set boundaries.  Early on a contest of wills develops. Offering discipline in a loving manner is required. The challenge grows as children enter adolescence and begin to strike out on their own.

Patience is necessary in many other situations: teachers with students, employers with employees and vice versa, within peer groups trying to get along, diners with waiters, sales clerks with customers, drivers with one another on a busy highway, phone callers on hold. The list goes on and on.  Even when annoyed you can show your patience as a way to love your neighbor.

Finally patience lays the groundwork for reconciliation and forgiveness.  As a proverb states: “Hotheads stir up conflict, but patient people calm down strife” (Proverbs 15:18).

 

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