Love is PATIENT.
1 Corinthians 13:4
When my Love first met me, I was 19 years old. I worked at a fairly dead-end job, although it paid well and gave me full benefits, and I was dabbling at community college. On top of grandiose philosophical ideas about whom I would like to become, I had no real plan to get there. Just taking classes, feeling like I was wasting my time on subjects I didn’t care about (Statistics? Come on!), and complaining frequently about the tedium of my daily work and the difficulty of going to school full-time on top of it. I was in danger every semester of giving up completely.
When my Love first met me, I was not very friendly. A little socially fearful and wary of the wrong type of guy, I (unintentionally) made a face at him the first time he tried to talk to me. (In Sunday school, no less!)
When my Love first met me, I lived on fast food and frozen meals. I wasted gas and money and time. I short-sightedly got a cat to keep me company. (He hates cats. Especially the one I got.) My priorities were a little askew, but I didn’t know it. If you questioned me, I would close my ears and tell you that you were wrong.
When my Love first met me, I thought I had life all figured out. I thought I had the wisdom of at least a 35-year-old trapped in the skull of a teenager. (Why couldn’t people recognize just how wise I was? Where was all the respect?) I felt like no one took me seriously, and I was very bothered by this.
When my Love first met me, I pinned my hopes and dreams on getting married and having a family. And, for goodness’ sake, I was ready. Who cared if I was only 19? My mind was at least 35, after all…
When my Love first met me, I was pretty broken-hearted and emotionally damaged. I was a wreck with a smile on her face. (Well, I eventually had a smile on my face, after that initial meeting!)
When my Love first met me, it might have been prudent for him to pass on by.
But he didn’t.
He saw in me something I couldn’t see, despite my false pride. He saw potential. He saw a heart that wanted to love Jesus and serve Him only. He saw the beginnings of a godly woman in the eyes of a slightly misguided girl. He saw academic and professional success, if only I had a little encouragement. He saw the potential in me to be a tender wife and a kind mother, but he also recognized that I was FAR from ready to jump into any of that.
(So he dated me for four years before he married me!)
My Love was patient with me, and he encouraged me as God refined me. He walked with me as I learned. He loved me as I grew. We were both young and immature, really, but my Love has always had long-term eyes. If he hadn’t, I don’t know if we would have made it past our first date.
That’s good love, right there. That’s a Jesus kind of love.
Patience. It’s a rare virtue indeed.
I love you, my Love!