One important lesson I’ve learned recently comes from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 or to put it simply, “Something that is worth doing is only worth doing in the attitude of love and faith.” It is a truth that I understood better in the past couple of months and the long-term work of the Holy Spirit within me to help me take heed of it.
Throughout the second half of 2019 I was helping my wife with her struggles against fear and depression. When trying to guide her through this storm, counselling and encouraging her, after a while I began getting impatient and irritable on some occasions, because it seemed like all my efforts were of little to no avail. At times, I was unhappy when things did not go the way I expected. Needless to say, this was undermining all the attempts at encouraging her.
God kept reminding me that my love lacked patience or long-suffering (Ephesians 5:25). Finally, I began to be more intentional about exercising patience and waiting as long as God determined it to be necessary. Simply telling myself God had a purpose in it and will work everything out together for good was not always enough. I had to keep thinking of God’s patience towards me, filling my heart with gratitude and trusting in Christ’s love. At the same time, I had to work on dropping all expectations in terms of the timing for the change that He was doing in her heart.
Eventually, the Lord enabled me to love my wife without irritability or impatience, whether she was responsive or not. That’s when her heart began to soften. She was finally able to see God’s grace and love clearer than ever, determined to learn to lean on Christ and rest in His love, being encouraged and filled with the hope that endures to eternity.