My face always lights up with a smile when I read people confess their love and the reasons they attach to it – “I love you because you are kind, generous, beautiful, and supportive.”
Listen to another one: “This is to my beautiful wife, you are so helpful, hardworking, selfless, funny, appreciative, a good mother and I will always love you”.
The best I think I have heard so far goes like – “To the most amazing man I have ever known, the family provider, the superman of the house, the chief commando and lover of my life, I love you to the moon and back.”
I bet you have heard or read even more amazing confessions elsewhere or have even at some point in your relationship or married life have said these words or bought a card that read like that for your spouse or partner. These are very good attributes of love to have in a spouse.
It is interesting that one of the least talked about attributes in many of these love confessions is the attribute of Patience. And yet, patience is the cornerstone of any relationship. Take a moment and reflect on what you just read.
Yes, I repeat, Patience is the foundational element that will impact every aspect of your relationship with your partner and other people in general. It is all well and good if you are hardworking, kind, resourceful, and a helpful partner. But without patience as a foundation, your castle of love is just a disaster waiting to happen.
Let’s take a moment to dissect the meaning of Patience. I was genuinely surprised when I discovered that the origins of patience come from the Latin word – “patientia” meaning the quality of suffering, enduring, submission, bearing, tolerance, etc. It also means to express quiet or calmness in waiting for something to happen. Simply put, patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delayed problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. But did you know that patience also means to show diligence, grit, humility, perseverance, poise, serenity, fortitude, endurance, heart, and most importantly coolness.
Imagine you and your spouse having these qualities in abundance, how wonderful your relationship will be! Will your spouse say you are cool?
Let me give you a classic example and I believe most people can relate to this. Sometimes you ask your spouse to do something at home, maybe fix something or move something to a different place.
It takes forever for him or her to do what you deem as a simple task. Personally, such a situation really frustrates me, and I am tempted to nag, but I have learned to be patient, because I love my husband, I will not nag but wait for him to do what I have asked in his own time, though very difficult to do. I have noticed that if I nag it even takes longer for him to do that task. I have come to greatly appreciate that without patience, such little foxes as these will ruin the marriage vine.
You cannot love without being patient. Love is clothed in patience, and all who claim to love must love patiently. I dare say it is impossible to understand the gift of love without patience. Patient loving means your willingness to accept that things happen in a different way than what you had in mind.
Often, you expect your spouse do something the way you want it. For example, how your birthday or anniversary is celebrated. The reality of life is that you and your spouse or partner are two individuals who were brought up differently. You may be crazy about birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions.
You expect flowers, cakes, and presents on those occasion, whilst on the other hand, your partner or spouse, does not a make a big deal of those occasions. The big question is, are you patient enough not to get angry when things do not happen the way you wanted or wished? Can you survive this season of not yet, as you gradually explain to your spouse or partner how important such occasions are for you? It might take a while for your spouse or partner to get to your level, but are you patient enough during this period?
How then do we practice patience with our spouse or partner?
First, you need to understand that patience reveals discovered values, in other words, you are patient when you know the value of a thing. It is amazing when you watch the news when people camp out for Black Friday sales.
These people are willing to sacrifice their comfort to stay in the cold for that long, simply because they know the value of what they are going to buy in the store. The same applies to a relationship, if you know the value of your spouse or partner, you will be patient enough towards them. When you really love a person, patience becomes easier when you understand their value.
Secondly, you need to accept it when things are going differently as to how you want. I love this quote I saw somewhere:
“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. It is looking at the thorns and seeing the roses, looking at the night and seeing the day. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full”.
I have learned not to put unrealistic expectations on people. It takes time, encouragement, and understanding to get our spouse or partner to become what we wish even if they become just a faint reflection of our wishes.
Patience requires selflessness. A great way to show your spouse or partner you love them is to be patient. If i am struggling with something and my husband shows patience with me, I feel loved, it shows his commitment to me and our marriage. Just imagine you are getting ready for a programme, and you are running a bit late, and your spouse does not yell or put pressure on you to get ready!
Patience requires unwavering calmness in the face of intense stress. At any moment, either one or both partners must show leadership and bring calmness into the stressful moments in their marriage or relationship. Impatience creates unwanted tension and stress in marriage which leads to arguments. Only when you are patient, then you can see the good characteristics of your spouse or partner. Remember your spouse or partner is not a xerox copy and to do things your way.
In today’s world of amazon prime, where you can skip a song or fast forward a programme, patience is becoming a scarce commodity and affecting most relationships. And that is why we need to talk about it. If you are still struggling to understand it, take a moment to think or imagine the Creator of the universe getting impatient with you!
Let us all endeavour to be patient with each other.