Day 22: Marriage Builder Tip: Be Patient with Each Other - 31 Days: Marriage Devotionals


Scripture Focus: Love is patient. I Corinthians 13:4


Let me give you a David-specific oxymoron: “Patient driver.” Yes, I’m a reasonably patient person – until I grasp the steering wheel and begin driving. Suddenly, I am the only capable driver in a freeway full of incompetents! Here is a good thing: While I was growing up, my parents trained me not to swear --- and not to use sign language.


Within the context of a marriage, patience is a virtue that pays rich dividends. Learning to be patient with each other, to give patience as well as to receive it, can do more to transform your relationship than you may realize.


An impatient young husband wonders why his wife doesn’t keep the house cleaner, and why she doesn’t cook meat loaf the way his mom did. Okay, she’s working part-time outside the home, but what does she do the rest of the time? Why doesn’t she do a better job at all that “woman stuff?” Why, he wonders, isn’t my wife more like mom was?


An impatient young wife wonders why her husband doesn’t treat her the way her dad always treated her mom. Wow, dad was a gentleman. He opened car doors for his wife. He brought her flowers for no reason. He didn’t bring home a store-bought card; he wrote poetry for birthdays and anniversaries; corny but romantic stuff. He loved his wife and everyone knew it. So why, she wonders, can’t my husband do the same for me?


Patience notices that your partner is trying. Patience compliments good efforts and rewards helpful behaviors. Patience is the opposite of grumpy grumbling. Patience gives people time to wise up, mature, and get better.


When we receive patience from our partner, we keep trying to do our best, knowing we are loved and valued right now imperfect as we are. When we give patience to our partner, we send the message that perfection isn’t necessary; just good effort.


For your personal reflection:

  • Are you constantly sending your partner the message that he or she just doesn’t measure up to mom, or dad, or your expectations?
  • Or are you a patient and loving partner, cherishing your spouse for his or her many good qualities?
Prayer: Lord, patience is not my best thing. Help me to at least be more patient with my marriage partner starting today. Help me to focus on the good things and to be more relaxed about areas that may need improvement or change. Help me to love my partner with a patient and encouraging love.
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