The last post in my Fruit of the Spirit series was April 28. The entire idea behind the delay in posts was to test your patience (coughcough). Some of you are very patient, while others… not so much.
I have the feeling that this post will mostly be a confession, rather than an expression of my enlightenment, because I have found myself to not be a very patient person, especially lately!
I believe that marriage and raising children are refining processes. Both take who we think we are and challenge us, testing our personal qualities and showing us who we really are. I find this very annoying. I liked the Chelsey-ideal I had in my mind when I was a young single person. When I’m just looking out for me, it is easy to be virtuous. It is when your life becomes entwined in meaningful relationships that you get the opportunity to become a better person for the people with whom you are in relationship.
You know how polite we are when we are in the company of strangers or aquaintances? As far as I know, I’m generally pretty nice to people I don’t know or people I am just getting to know, even in trying or stressful situations. But I could be in those same situations with my husband, my daughter, my mother, and think nothing of biting their heads off. These times are the opportunities that we have to grow as people, to bear the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and demonstrate God’s patience. This is something that I do not do very well.
Dictionary.com defines patience as “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” Oh, how I wish I could be more patient! I hate that I often treat the people that I love in such an opposite manner.
By examining myself with this lens, I can see that my lack of patience only means that I need to draw closer to the Spirit, so he can bear that fruit in my life. Let’s face it, relying on God is the only way to handle a toddler’s tantrums or Peter’s obsessions with hunting and hockey.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
“Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.” – Proverbs 25:15