If you've been around the church for even a short time, you've probably heard someone jokingly say, "Don't pray for patience, or the Lord will certainly give you what you ask for." If that is the case, then I suppose the Lord is certainly giving us what we need as we emerge from the effects of the COVID19 pandemic. We have all been stretched and tried in a variety of ways during this season, but I wonder if the discipline of practicing patience in the home has been one of the biggest challenges we all face across the board?
In Galatians 5:22-23 we read,"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."For the follower of Christ, these characteristics are the fruit of a life that has been changed, and praise God for the ways he works these out in our lives. Unfortunately, this verse also serves as a regular reminder that we are not home yet. We all have a ways to go in the process of sanctification--becoming more like Christ. I don't know about you, but I've been reminded daily during this pandemic that I am not fully sanctified. In particular, it is so easy to become impatient with those living under the same roof with you--those with whom you may be spending significantly more time than usual.
During our family devotions the past few weeks, I've often challenged myself and our family to live out the exhortations found in 2 Peter 3:5-8."For this very reason,make everyeffortto supplement your faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love..."I believe the way we relate to one another at home reveals the character of who we truly are as individuals. You can put on a show for the world, but your family or those you live with know the real you. For that reason, it is all the more imperative that we make every effort to live out our faith at home. Patience at home might look like making an effort to help with a meal or a project. It might look like listening before blurting out a response or believing the best about another's intent instead of assuming the worst. It might look like playing a game in the yard with a child, reading a book together, or watching a movie that might not be your first choice.
How will you make every effort to live out your faith and walk in patient love with your family today?