Family: A Training Ground for Patience
Love is patient.
As a family we have worked on learning 1 Corinthians 13… the great LOVE chapter. I can remember as a child working my way through memorizing these verses to earn money for camp. Forty years later, the depth and width of my understanding of this passage has certainly increased, as well as the desire to have our children not only know the words but live the meaning.
Verses 1-3 have been a real motivation to encourage them. We can be doing GREAT things: giving away all we possess to help the poor or serving others until our bodies are worn out, but…
If we don’t have love, it profits nothing.
That’s a hard truth to swallow.
I thank the Lord HE gave us verses 4-6, so we get a picture of what LOVE is supposed to look like. It is interesting to me that the first thing on the list is LOVE IS PATIENT. Right at the top, showing us the importance and place of patience.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful, it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
How is your patience these days? If you’re like me, there are some things you handle well, while others may ruin your day, your attitude, or your perspective. If we are failing in one of the other areas, like kindness, envying, becoming easily angered, etc., we need to do a double-check, because chances are we’re not being patient.
Families are great training grounds to practice patience. Not just for us, but for our children.
As we began to work through the chapter and learn the verses, I would hear around the house “love is patient,” in gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminders from one to another. There is nothing like accountability. (Side note: if you are a parent who is counting on your children to learn from you by example, this is only part of the picture. Be diligent to TEACH them, for your example will authenticate what you say. )
Love is patient. Something at which we all fail, but it is always important to remember that some of our greatest growth comes through failure. I try to remember that patience is something we can’t experience without trials:
My brethren count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this , hat the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:2-4).
Have you seen love and patience “profit” in your family this week? What a great reminder to live out what we teach.
“Love never ends” (1 Cor. 13:8).
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