Patience: The Forgotten Virtue
Very few people consider themselves to be patient. I’m one of them. People used to tell me patience is a virtue, and honestly, that did absolutely nothing to motivate me to be more patient. I still don’t understand how or why that statement would motivate anyone to be more patient. As Christians, I get that we want to be men and women of virtue (hmm…what exactly does that mean anyways??), and we know patience is a good virtue to have, but how exactly do you become more patient? And how do you incorporate that virtue into your love life? Well, my friend, you ask great questions! :)
Patience comes with time. As you get older, you become more patient. At least, that’s been my experience. As I gain understanding, I gain patience. As I gain empathy, I gain patience. As I gain acceptance, I gain patience. And as I age, I gain all of these.
- As you get older, your life revolves less around you and because of that you simply don’t get what you want, when you want it. And you absolutely can’t throw an immature, childish fit when you don’t get your way. So in order to deal with the reality of life, you have to gain patience so that you can handle life in an adult-like way.
So then, it’s no wonder that young Christians seem to have absolutely no patience when it comes to their love life (or lack thereof). Chill out. Seriously! Just because you’re 22 and you know that one 30-year old who still isn’t married, doesn’t mean you have to make finding that perfect spouse your Number One goal in life!
- Gain patience in this season. Understand that you can use this time to form who you are - your vision - your desires - your ambitions.
- I wanted to get married somewhere between the age of 21 and 23, but instead got married at 27. It’s shocking to me how much I changed between the ages of 21 and 27. I was still me at the core, but in some ways, I felt like I was a completely different person. I moved to a new city, met new people, got a different job, and simply grew up. That time frame allowed new vision to develop inside me, and I honestly believe that if I didn’t have those years as a single woman, that new vision would’ve never developed.
Keep the faith. Maybe you’re older than 22 and your patience is growing thin. Super, super thin.
- It’s just that at this stage in life, you only have about two choices of how to respond to the fact that you aren’t married yet. You can either become bitter, angry, and resentful, or you can keep the faith. Of course, you’ll likely still feel those ugly feelings of bitterness, anger, and resentment, but don’t let them stay and shape you into a new person. Feel them, pray about them, talk about them, and with the help and power of the Holy Spirit (and mentors), make sure those feelings leave you!
- The other option is to Keep the Faith. This requires patience. If you’re confident God has called you to get married, let your faith define you and become patient in your active pursuit of marriage.
Yes, patience is a virtue - One of the most difficult virtues to have. But as we rehearse God’s promises for us, building our faith, then believe it or not, we actually begin to grow in patience! God has someone for you, and if trust that promise from Him, then you can relax a little and practice patience. PATIENCE: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. May God be with you! :)