One of the attributes of love, as described in the Bible, is long suffering.
When I reflect on the life I’ve lived with my husband and children, I see that it is a very necessary attribute. So many times, I have needed to walk out hard things in order to remain connected and in love with those around me. It’s never been about my “happiness”.
I actually hate it when I hear people say, “I just want to be happy”. It’s really just a way of saying, “I just really want to have my way.” Instead, I strive for joy. I make a decision to remain joyful and to see the world in an optimistic way. It’s a real drain for me to be around a pessimistic person.
But I digress……
Doesn’t long suffering indicate that at times, love will look like hard work? Even unpleasant? It sure sounds that way to me. But it’s not for nothing, because the longer I’ve walked out the long-suffering love that family requires, the more reward you eventually find. Not short-term benefit, but long lasting life changes.
As I have committed to loving my husband in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, etc. I’ve discovered, the reward isn’t in the honeymoon. It’s in the lifetime.
I love my husband and kids at a depth that I didn’t know was possible. Their love has become a safe place. Our home has transformed into a sanctuary. A place where we all know we are loved. Where we share and grow together. A place where we talk about what each of us is going through at any given moment, so that we all have extra understanding and grace for the individual journeys we face. In our home we know we are never alone.
Long suffering love has cultivated a spirit of honor in our home. A place where perfection is unnecessary because we know each one of us is in a process.
Then you look at the relationships in your life, ask yourself, “Do I have a long-suffering love for those nearest to me?”
But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22
Love is long-suffering, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 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. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7