Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Love is Patient

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. --Ephesians 4:2 NIV

"The first part of this dare is fairly simple." {{a brief break for you to join me in ironic laughter}} They apparently think the dare sounds easy "resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all" (Love Dare, pg 4) but when you dig in to it, when you think about and ponder over what it means to be patient and examine how quickly negativity can creep in, this dare threatens to be the most challenging.

Perhaps this is why the Kendrick brothers chose to make it first, and stretch it on throughout the first several dares. Before you can improve your attitude towards your spouse, build them up, and show them true love, you must first improve the condition of your heart, build it up and reflect an attitude of love and patience. If you continue allowing yourself to respond impatiently "overreact in angry, foolish, and regrettable ways" the anger will only generate additional problems (Love Dare, pg 1).

I write these words with a humble heart, every time I read the devotional that corresponds with today's dare I get a check in my heart. Many of them actually. It's easy to gloss over the issue and tell yourself yeah I'm pretty patient but when the Lord puts six or seven examples of things you do on a daily or weekly basis into a two and a half page devotional, you really have to take a step back and examine your heart.

So what is patience? Below are three definitions as found at www.dictionary.com.


1.the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2.an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3.quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

Using these definitions as my guide, I have made my own definition. Patience is handling life (replace with the following as needed: my husband, my child, my job) without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation. Having the ability to suppress restlessness replacing it with quiet, steady perseverance and care.  This definition describes who I want to be, but so rarely am. I love how it's put in the devotional "Patience brings an internal calm during an external storm." (Love Dare, pg 1) I'm going to write both of these out on pretty paper and put them on my bathroom mirror as a frequent reminder.  You see, I need a frequent reminder because I started these love dares about three weeks ago now and I'll tell you what happened to my resolve of patience. 

The first day I got off easy. There was not one instinctual retort, quip, negative, or impatient thought that came to my mind. Not one, in an entire 24 hours. Day two however, I wasn't up five minutes and I had already scolded myself and prayed for forgiveness for my short fuse, not once, but twice. The rest of the day went smoothly, and I was encouraged each time I managed to stay in check. This grew stronger and stronger, I made it 11 days without saying one quick tempered, irrational, impatient, negative, or hurtful thing to my husband. Then I fell, and I fell hard. Day 12 was a pitiful day for me. It was like the minute one hostile thing came out of my mouth another six were right behind it. Each day I'm struggling again to change my heart attitude. I wake up feeling entitled. I've done .... and .... and I've sacrificed .... and .... I deserve .... and .... Why shouldn't I get .... or .... . I, I've, I've, I, and I. Can you say selfish? 
Anger is usually caused when the strong desire for something is mixed with disappointment or grief. You don't get what you want and you start heating up inside. It is often an emotional reaction that flows out of our own selfishness, foolishness or evil motives (Love Dare, pg 2).
Can I hear a {ding, ding, ding} this hits the nail on the head for me. My anger is usually an emotional response to misguided and selfish expectations. So, when did I let selfishness become an acceptable part of my relationship towards my husband? It certainly wasn't part of our dating relationship.  

Oh you want to watch 3 football games today? Ok, sounds like fun. 
A third chick flick this month? Anything to spend time with you.
You need to paint, mind if I watch you?
I want to fish, will you come and read while I do? 

I honestly can not remember the last time I said "football sounds like fun" and if you know me, I'm sure you can hear the disgust that emanates from me anytime the subject of football comes up. I hate football. But it isn't that I pretended to be someone I wasn't when we were dating by saying I'd enjoy watching a game or fishing with him, any more than he was by watching excessive amounts of chick flicks or asking me to join him in the activities he likes. It is that, dating relationships are all about selflessness

Almost every relationship begins with each person striving to be the best them they can be and desiring to spend as much time together as they can. Eventually the elements of life, time, struggles, and constant-ness wear down that selflessness, wear down that resolve, that newness and slowly our sinful natures creep in and begin to take over.

This series is about investing your time in the things that matter, into your husband and your marriage. Each relationship goes through changes, good and bad. Things may be just as beautiful today as they were the day you met or the day you married, or you may be questioning your decisions but every single person battles selfishness. This Love Dare is not about changing your spouse, it's about examining your own heart, changing the way you react to your spouse, and as a result has power to improve your marriage.

Will you join me? Head over to Penelope Blue to see the first dare and what our guest blogger Jules from Bles-id  had to say about it.  Write your own thoughts on patience, struggles you may have or give us hints on how to make this dare easier and link your blogs up to Lori's Blog

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to swing back here on Friday to read about Day 2: Love is Kind.


  1. Love this! You did such an amazing job girl! So excited to be doing this with you :)

  2. I'm in awe of the 11 DAYS ... and here I was thinking my 2 days were something to write home about! What is making this so darn hard is my sarcastic nature. I know the Lord can take that from me! Fabulous Post, so easy to read and informative!!! jules

  3. "I" seems to be the name of the game sometimes doesn't it?!?!? I find that sometimes we keep a running checklist of what "I" did and we start throwing these items out as if that cancels out a future task - because "I" do it all. I have to remind myself that this isn't a game and that we need to STOP and do it together because this is our life together - hopefully this new patient dare will slow this competition to a halt!! You made some great points for sure!

  4. I needed to read this today. Thank you :)


Thank you for your comments and love!