Love is Patient
This post is for anyone who loves someone, cue love languages. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I highly suggest you read “The 5 love languages” by Gary Chapman. To give you a little context basically there are 5 major types of love languages, or ways that people give and receive love. I think an important side note here is that we should never go to any person to make us feel fulfilled. Only Jesus can do that and if we’re looking to others for that fulfillment we’re always going to be disappointed. My husband Drew makes a great husband but he makes a crappy God. Everything starts with having a healthy relationship with God, and from there we can also approach healthy relationships with others.
Not our Comfort
These healthy relationships take time, understanding, patience and so many other virtues that God wants to grow in us. Knowing and understanding each other’s love language is a really important step and one that can help our relationships grow deeper and stronger. My love language is quality time, while my husband’s love language is words of affirmation. After ten years of being together and trying to understand why the other does certain things or gets upset in certain situations we are finally starting to recognize quicker that so often the root of our disagreements is that one of us has felt unloved by the other. Because our love languages are different we not only receive love differently, but we also naturally give love differently. I really think God created us this way to help each other grow. If we had the same love language then we’d never have conflict, and conflict is what leads to growth. God is not interested in our comfort, he’s interested in our hearts and helping us become more holy.
We’ve got to take time to understand each other, and in the moments where we fall short instead of insisting on being right (I’m nudging myself right now) we must stop and do two things. First I think we’ve got to remind ourselves that we love God. We love him because he first loved us, and in that love He has shown us what the perfect picture of love looks like.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8Deeper
Second, if this is the picture of love that God has written for us, we love God, and God created and loves our spouse then we’ve got to become uncomfortable when we fall short of this standard. I know from experience that it is easy for me (alone) to be impatient with Drew. But when I remember that the God who loves me, also loves Drew and created this standard that I’m seeking after, then it’s a lot harder for me to be impatient with him. And in the moments where I fall short, I have become a lot more uncomfortable with it and a lot more eager to right my wrongs. If love can never be impatient, and my goal is to emulate God’s love, then it should be my goal to seek a standard of “never being impatient”. The paradox here is that me (alone) can’t even get close…..but again the beautiful truth about being a Christian is that while God provides and desires a perfect standard of holiness for us as image barriers to himself, he also provides the Holy Spirit to help us get there. Then he takes it a step further and provides grace when we fall short. I don’t know about you, but that is good news to me. And it’s this process that I want to continue to grow in. I want to act with more patience, kindness, and honor and when I fall short be quick to ask for forgiveness and then in turn offer grace when he falls short as well. My hope and prayer is that in the next ten years we’ll be able to grow closer in our relationship with God and in turn grow deeper with each other, showing each other love in the way the other needs to receive. Hallelujah + amen.