With mine and my husband’s 3 year anniversary having just passed on the 31st of July, I sat and pondered on some things that I’ve learned thus far. I want to tell you about another major lesson I’m learning about since being married; PATIENCE.
So if you’ve read my other post Big Lesson Learned in Marriage; Expectations, you know that I talked about the major lesson I learned up until that point in our marriage. Well, I wanted to go ahead and update you on another one. In marriage, you never actually stop learning lessons and growing wiser when it comes to your significant other or yourself.
My heart has always wanted to be a stay at home wife/mom. People would ask me what I wanted to do with my life, and my answer was (and still is) to be a stay at home wife/mom. You may wonder, why? Why stay at home 24/7? Why be home all day to cook and clean? Why would someone ACTUALLY want to do that? Because I knew that I would be a great wife… but didn’t realize patience was a key factor in this new covenant.
As a child, I watched my mom do such a great job at being a wife and mom for so long, that I aspired to be just like her. The thing is, I had only seen what I saw as a child. I didn’t see the different situations that my mom had to work through with my dad and within their marriage. I only saw the day in and day out of her caring for the family, being present, cooking, cleaning, and everything in between.
Now that I am a wife and fur mama, I found out that some things are understood best when the situations present themselves in my own life, and I face them head-on. Patience is the major topic I’m covering here. Here’s what I’ve learned….
Waiting on God
Waiting on God, for my husband and myself is very new to me on a very different level than in my own personal life. So, I strongly believed that I would be such a patient and kind wife to my husband. I was going to be God’s gift to my husband, and be the best that anyone can be. Wow! Such pride! God probably chuckled when I held so tightly to that thought, along with my prideful way of thinking. Well, in marriage, patience is a tested attribute DAILY, and I learned that very quickly.
To wait on God within my marriage is somewhat different than other aspects in my life. For instance, let’s say I’m waiting on God to let me know where I’m supposed to get a job outside of the home, or if I’m even supposed to work. He may not let me know right away, but I trust that He will let me know if/when I am supposed to take action in that department. When it comes to my marriage though, apparently I don’t thoroughly trust Him to take care of things the way He “should” sometimes. If my husband and I are having an argument, isn’t God supposed to step in and tell my husband he’s wrong (haha)? Isn’t He supposed to be the referee? Here’s where patience is SUPPOSED to be put into practice. I should expect God to know what He’s doing and let Him do it HIS WAY! But what I tend to do is jump ahead of Him and give my husband some sly remark about what might be bothering me, and how he’s not doing a great job helping me out with this, that or the other. That’s where waiting on God plays such a crucial role in marriage. When God is telling me, “Think your thoughts thoroughly through before you say anything to hurt him” that’s usually an indicator that He is working on that “lashing out” trait in my heart. Even if that wasn’t necessarily the case, my job is to simply trust in Him, wait on His mark and obey what He’s telling me to do. PATIENCE! The waiting can be so hard, but the Lord knows exactly what He’s doing in growing me through the patience period because of how detrimental it is to my marriage.
Patience with My Husband
When it comes to being patient with my husband… well if you’re a wife, you understand this part of it all. In a good way, of course. I have never really been an organized person prior to marriage. I never had to wash laundry, wash dishes, pick up after, or cook for anyone else EXCEPT FOR MYSELF. But now there has to be some type of order, simple enough to get the job done…
-Dirty clothes go in the dirty clothes basket.
-Dishes go into the sink.
-Random papers go into a “junk basket”.
-Shoes go in the closet.
-Keys go on the table or in the junk basket.
This is easy enough, right? Well when I say my patience definitely gets tested, it’s typically because of one or more of these things HA. I can laugh about it because it is comical, and my husband gets a kick out of how frustrated I can become and sometimes does it on purpose JUST to get a reaction out of me. OH, MARRIAGE! Lol (P.S. I will never depict my husband as anyone less than an amazing husband because he is amazing. He truly does know what buttons to push to get my heart rate up and prayers flowing more frequently though SMH lol)
But on a spiritual level, I have to be patient with my husband. I talked about this in this blog post here, where I need to understand that my husband is growing and learning at a different pace than me. I have to understand that his relationship with God is between him and God, and (going back to waiting on God) I have to remember that God’s timing is not my timing. When things are going on in my husband’s mind and heart, I have to let him and God deal with that. When my husband is ready to talk about things with me, that’s when he will discuss his heart. Honestly, that’s probably the hardest test of patience because I am a very “Let’s talk about it now to work through it” type of person, and he is a very “I will talk to you once I can verbalize what I’m dealing with” kind of person. WHOA! PATIENCE TESTING TO THE MAX. The coolest thing is that we ultimately end up communicating what we are both dealing with, and see each other’s feelings and thoughts out. The best thing to do for your husband is to understand that he is going at a different pace in life as you and might just need time with Jesus just as much as you. Once things are straight with Jesus, then coming together and getting back on the same page should seem to be a tad bit smoother.
Patience with Myself
Last but not least, patience with myself. Oh my goodness, this is the hardest for me internally. Did you read this blog about perfectionism? I talk about what perfectionism is and how I continuously fight to NOT be a perfectionist. In my mind, things should be pretty close to perfect… whether that is cooking dinner, writing a blog, keeping all the laundry done, keeping my home clean, being a good daughter, sibling, friend, Christian. That’s how my brain works. What I’ve learned though is that I need to extend patience to myself. Not a free pass to just live like a slug, but to be okay with failure of not doing everything to the 100% mark every time. Accepting the idea of failing at something, actually allows for more choices to be made and more actions to be made (with wisdom and prayer of course). That brings me to the other aspect of being patient with myself. God does not EXPECT me to do anything. He has never said, “If you don’t do this, I will not love you.” Quite the opposite actually. He says, “Because of my Son, I ALLOW you to do this, that and the other.” So when I’m beating myself up over not sitting down with Him in the morning, He sees my heart and desire and struggle. He knows my ins and outs and doesn’t hold any of them against me. So why do I do it to myself? I have the freedom to strive for excellence to the best of my ability, but those efforts or accomplishments don’t define who I am. Accepting and embracing that truth is something that I have to understand will take time. I won’t hit perfection on this side of heaven, so releasing myself from that bonding mindset is something that I MUST work on daily!
At the end of the day my friends, PATIENCE IS KEY! Patience is not something that you just learn to do overnight. It’s an everyday action that needs to be put into practice! We grow through the times we are patient and learn from the times that we aren’t. No matter what, we need to understand to be patient in all things, no matter how slow or fast everything may seem to be going. Trust the process and trust that God’s timing is way better than mine or yours will ever be.
Where can you practice patience in your life today? Leave it in the comments below!