Patience. This one was going to be easy. Get the concordance, look up patience, find the reference that fits with Galatians 5:22, define the words, write a blog. So, I got my concordance, looked up patience, and to my amazement, there was no reference to the book of Galatians. So I went back to the Bible and looked for the reference word. The words it gave me to find were forbearance and longanimity. One of those words I vaguely understand, the other one I didn’t know existed. So how was I to tie this into displaying the fruit of the Spirit in marriage?
Well, as usual, I started with definitions. Forbearance was defined as “a refraining from the enforcement of something (such as a debt, right, or obligation) that is due”. This made sense because in marriage we have to constantly forego our ideas of what our spouses should be doing, saying, thinking, etc. in our minds. We believe that we know what their obligations are, however, we are not to rigidly hold them to our standards. Again, we are called to apply Christ’s standard, as He took on our debts and paid them so that we could be reconciled to Him.
This then led me to longanimity, which is defined as “a disposition to bear injuries patiently”. Finally, the word “patient” appears in some form, but it is tied to bearing injuries. And it is a disposition, a mindset, to bear injuries with patience. Which means that there will be injuries in my marriage. And not only do I have to bear them, but I have to bear them with patience. So now finally, I can go to the definition of patience.
Patience, as defined, is “the ability to remain calm when dealing with a difficult or annoying situation, task, or person”. The key word that stuck out to me was “calm”. Will there be obligations in my marriage? Yes. Will there be injuries in my marriage? Yes. But in all things, I need to remain calm. And my calm must be genuine, or else I will not exhibit the fruit in my marriage. So where can I go to find that calm that is so key to this Scripture?
My search led me to Isaiah 43:2. (When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you). Now if God has promised to keep me safe through flood and flame, I am confident that He can secure me through the relatively small injuries inflicted by my spouse. So the end of my journey led me to understand that this part of the fruit that we call patience is simply releasing my spouse from any obligations that I may be tempted to hold against her. After that, I need to endure any injuries I may suffer, resting in the calm assurance that God will keep me safe.
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.