Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4, 6-7, NIV)
A husband jumped up from the table, grabbed two sheets of paper, and said to his wife, “Let’s make a list of everything we don’t like about each other.” The wife started writing. The husband looked hard at her for a few minutes, and then wrote on his paper. She wrote again. He watched her, and every time she stopped, he would start writing again. They finally finished. “Let’s exchange complaints,” the husband said. They gave each other their lists. “‘Give mine back,” the wife pleaded when she glanced at his sheet. All down the page the husband had written: “I love you, I love you, I love you.” (Source unknown)
I read a book titled “Love within limits” authored by Lewis B. Smedes and I learned much about Love specifically stated in the Bible. I struck most on the chapter stating that Love is patient or suffers long.
In the midst of all our sufferings, oftentimes questioning God, we need to learn the hard way that there are many things we can’t order, fix, or change things. And sometimes we deny the reality of what’s going on as we undergo suffering.
“Love is a not so common dose or power to cope with common suffering. Suffering itself takes no talent. It comes to us, takes us captive, pins us down. We are its victims. Some of us have to suffer more than others. Some are able to suffer with more grace than others. But it is love that enables us to suffer long.”
“Love is patient.” The word “patient” here comes from a Greek contract word “makrothumew”—“makro” means long and “thumos” means wrath or anger. If combined, it means “long-suffering.”
The irony of patience is that we must choose to suffer long. To suffer is to be a victim; to be patient (long-suffering) is in a sense to be free. To earn the description “patient” we have to make a decision for what we do not want, choose to live indefinitely with what we hate. This is the irony or absurdity that makes patience a creative art of living; hence, it is the power to be a creative victim. Patient is not passive. It is a tough, active, aggressive style of life. It takes power of soul to be patient.