The Place of Patience In a Relationship (This is Nothing About Being Patient While Waiting For Your Love for a Lifetime.)

I do a lot of book reading. It’s one of my favorite things to do, especially when sitting in a lawn chair and reading a book. It is a perfect afternoon for me. I have yet to switch to an e-reader. I just can’t do it. I love holding a book in my hand. I get it that I can download several books into one e-reader and have several books ready-to-go, especially when I’m on travel. But I can’t do it.

I love my public library. There are thousands of books free for me to read. Actual books in my hands.

Since I’m a brave dating coach, I do read many dating books. All of this information helps and inspires and makes me smarter. Even if I don’t always agree with what I read. I do though get looks from people when I’m reading my book called The New Rules for Love Sex & Dating when I look to be so married myself. I know that if I would convert to an e-reader I wouldn’t get those looks. But I can’t do it. I like holding a book. And laugh at the looks I do get.

I  finished Andy Stanley’s The New Rules for Love Sex & Dating book. I do recommend this one. He speaks bluntly and truthfully and offers a clear challenge. There is one section though I just had to make into an article. I’m taking it word-for-word. Get ready for some challenging wow-ness.

“Love is patient.” 1 Corinthians 13:4. Patience is the decision to move at someone else’s pace rather than pressure him or her to match yours. Patience is choosing to do less than you are capable of for the sake of keeping in step with someone else. Now, if all we were talking about was an afternoon job or a walk on the beach, that would be easy. But pace refers to lots of things. The pace of conversation. The pace of understanding. The pace at which a person makes decisions. The pace of getting ready to go out. The pace of career advancement. The pace at which someone is ready to become a parent. The pace at which a person is ready to make a lifetime commitment. The pace at which an individual is ready to take a relationship to the next level. Patience is a decision to pause rather than push.

Impatience is different. Impatience isn’t a decision, is it? It’s an emotion. It’s something you feel. Kind of like love is something you feel. Isn’t that interesting? You can feel love and feel impatient. In fact, you can feel impatient with someone you love. The feeling of impatience can actually trump and interfere with those loving feelings, can’t they? The reverse is also true. Feeling pressured by someone who claims to love you can crush your loving feelings as well. That’s a big deal.

Patience isn’t natural. Your natural pace is natural. Your natural instinct is to assume that your pace is the pace by which all paces should be judged. Right? So, you think he’s impatient and he thinks you’re slow. She things you should be moving up in the company faster and you feel pressured. Love, as expressed through patience, never pressures another person to speed up in order to satisfy a desire to move at one’s natural pace. Love defers. Love defers to the pace of the other. Love creates and allows for as much space, time, and margin as the other person needs. Love never says, “If you love me, you’ll set it up!” Love says, “Because I love you, I’ll gear down. I’ll move at your pace.” Like everything in Paul’s list, patience is simply a way of putting the other person first. Patience is an expression of submission. Your pace, not mine.

Do you struggle with impatience? Do you expect the people around you to move at your pace? To work at your pace? To catch on to things as quickly as you do? Do you feel like you’re constantly revving your internal engines while waiting for everybody else to “get with it”? Then you have some work to do. But think of it as an investment. Learning to gear down now will prepare you to gear down later. And rest assured, no matter how competent and talented your future partner is, you’ll need to have a well-exercised patience muscle. So start now. Decide to move at the pace of the people around you. That’s what love does. (pp. 78-80).

Filter your last few relationships through this filter. Do you see a pattern? Do you see a love pattern? The time is now to learn something about love and patience in your life. So you can have that 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love you desire.