Raise your hand if you are a patient person. Hear those crickets chirping? Yeah, I struggle with patience too.
It’s been said that we live in a fast food world. We complain when a meal takes longer than 3 minutes to prepare when it used to be an all day event. My Great-Grandmother used to start cooking dinner when she woke up. She, an Italian, perfected the most delicious sauce recipe that would cook and simmer all day. I love to cook my own sauce too, but let’s be honest… it’s way more convenient in my Mom-Life with a toddler to just heat up a jar of Prego.
Speaking of my toddler, the first thing he says when he wakes up is, “I hungry.” What he means is, “I need food now” because every morning he starts to whine when I tell him we need to change his diaper first, then we can eat. He struggles through the wait of changing his diaper and clothes then runs to the Kitchen.
Once there, he anticipates to eat immediately. Even though we go through this each and every morning. The wait becomes too much for him again as now he faces the struggle of not having food on demand. He asks for cinnamon rolls… 14 minutes. He’ll ask for sausage… at least 10 minutes. I like giving him a hot breakfast, but have to be clever about distracting him during the wait. His patience is shorter than he is tall.
It’s frustrating at how impatient he can be. But what about me? What about how I treat my husband? No offense to my son and his appetite, but patience in marriage is much more important. In fact showing patience to my husband is a way I can show love.
Patience is one of those things that we all struggle to learn, even though we deal with it every single day of our lives. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait to get my ears pierced, something my parents wanted to be a special event for me (which eventually was a fun 11th birthday present). I couldn’t wait to be a teenager, then 16 to be able to drive, and on to 18 –an adult! The list goes on wanting a career, to be engaged, a wife, a mother, etc. There’s always something I wanted that I hadn’t quite attained. In wanting “the next thing” I was missing out on the present.
Maybe patience isn’t always about delayed gratification of things we want or even think we need. Perhaps it’s actually about the in-between.
My frustrations with my husband often have to do with my impatience. In our relationship, I’m the thinker and he’s the doer. I have a logical way that I believe would be best, more efficient or faster, while he sets out about getting things over and done. I try forcing my opinion on him (we all know where this is going, right?), which leads to us both being frustrated and the job taking longer (not to mention a lovely argument). It’s rather ironic that I would get impatient with him for not doing something the way I think it should be done, when 9 times out of 10 it would get done in less time if I just let him do his thing.
Patience is taking a moment to stop and listen to my husband instead of clinging to my own expectations and desire to be right.
Being patient shows that I care enough to value his thoughts and concerns.
Patience adds a calming medicine to an open wound instead of adding salt.
Patience allows my husband to be human, to make mistakes, just like I do -all too often.
Patience brings us closer to oneness instead of isolation.
Patience is showing love.
How to Show Love: Patience is Part 2 in a series on Understanding Love.
Part 3 in the series can be found here.