Love is Patient and Kind
Many mistake love as just a feeling, but love is much more than that. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us what love is (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). So I was thinking, what if we applied Paul’s teaching on love to our relationship with our children. How would that impact the legacy we leave them?
The first thing that Paul tells us is that we must be calm in the midst of pain, difficulty or annoyance…love is patient (1 Cor. 13:4). For me, there are times when patience escapes me. I have two small children and there are times I’m not as patient as I would like to be. How about you? How are you with patience? Paul then goes on to tell us that our love should be characterized by doing good…love is kind (1 Cor. 13:4). I’m better at being kind and part of that kindness is apologizing when I haven’t been patient.
Now here’s the thing; you can’t just wake up in the morning and say that I’m going to be patient and kind, it generally doesn’t work. Trust me, I have tried this and it doesn’t work. Being patient takes practice and intentionality. If your life is like mine, than there are plenty of opportunities during the course of the day to practice patience and kindness. So, I start my day in prayer and invite God to be present in those moments where I might not be as patient as I need to be and to help me be kind where I need to be kind.
I’m not always successful with being patient and kind, but during those moments that I’m not, my children are always quick to forgive. The truth be told, I have learned more about grace from a five year old and a two year old than I would have ever imagined. They understand what love is more than I do and demonstrate it in great ways. They get that love is patient and kind and are quick to show me both. Through their example of patience and kindness, I am becoming more of the father they deserve.