Last night, our small group started a series on marriage. We are each reading The Love Dare book that was written for the movie Fireproof. Today was day one and I really should have heard it on Tuesday instead of today so I could practice it! Below is a section that I really enjoyed:
If your spouse offends you, do you quickly retaliate, or do you stay under control? Do you find that anger is your emotional default when treated unfairly? If so, you are spreading poison rather than medicine.
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.
Patience, however, makes us wise. It doesn't rush to judgment but listens to what the other person is saying. Patience stands in the doorway where anger is clawing to burst in, but waits to see the whole picture before passing judgment. The Bible says, "He who is slow to anger had great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29).
Patience helps you give your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time than they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the tough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.
The last part of this segment is something that Raleigh and I have had to learn over time. For those of you that know us, we started dating in high school and continued to date for six years until we got married. I had to learn patience on multiple levels, primarily patience in waiting and then a close second was patience with my partner. Today, as a married gal, I deal with the latter on a weekly basis. Sometimes I get so frustrated by the smallest things around the house and I just blow up. Usually, if we get into an argument it is over something silly but then we quickly become angry and say things that we shouldn't say. When we argue I always walk away with regret at the words I chose to say.
"See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another" (1 Thessalonians 5:15)
Being patient with your partner is a choice that we have to make every time we open our mouths. It is shown through our actions and through our words. As I mentioned in an earlier post, words are what hurt me the most. In return, I know my words have hurt those close to me. I am constantly learning how to practice patience every single day so my home can be filled with positive words and actions instead of negative.
Friends, I dare you to be patient today. Whether it is with your spouse, co-worker, family member or friend, choose to keep your mouth shut an extra second before you respond. I bet you won't regret it.
Till next time, let your light shine!