Marriage Meditation: The Fruit of the Spirit Is Patience

By Bill Arbuckle
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A man and woman sit silently after arguing
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It’s easy to be angry. But God challenges us to live differently. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “The fruit of the Spirit is … patience.”

Getting Started

  • Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
  • Read today’s Marriage Meditation devotion.
  • Share today’s question with your spouse.

Today’s Devotion

Scripture Reading:

  • Galatians 5:22-23 — “The fruit of the Spirit is … patience.”
  • Psalm 86:15 – “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Meditation:

Have you ever heard someone describe living or working with an angry person is like? They might describe it as:

  • Walking on eggshells.
  • Walking through a minefield.
  • Living next door to Mount Vesuvius.

What they really mean is they’re stuck with a short-tempered person and never know when that person will explode with anger. An angry person leaves a wake of hurt, scars and broken relationships wherever they go.

And, frankly, it’s easy to be angry. To explode emotionally. If we follow the example of today’s world, we’ll become bitter, hurtful people who react explosively to any issue — no matter how small. But God challenges us to live differently. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “The fruit of the Spirit is … patience.” Or as one translation of the Bible puts it, “longsuffering.”

What comes to mind when you hear the words patience or longsuffering? An image of a saintly person who looks slightly pained and close to tears … but determined to endure all the anger and insults thrown at them? Think again. Longsuffering actually means “long-tempered.” And it’s an active choice we make when dealing with difficult situations.

What does patience or longsuffering look like in a relationship? Psalm 86:15 describes God’s relationship with His people this way: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

So, when it comes to marriage, our goal should be to respond to our spouse with patience, mercy, endurance and hope. We’re not saying you should turn a blind eye to sin and abuse. Those behaviors should be confronted and dealt with quickly. But when it comes to the day-to-day relationship with our spouse, we should show them the grace, faithfulness and love that God has shown us.

As you put longsuffering into practice, remember that it’s one of the fruits of the Spirit. Patience is a God-powered behavior. We can’t do it on our own. But with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can change the way we respond to our spouse and exchange anger for longsuffering love.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for treating me with patience, mercy and love. Help me to show the same patience to my spouse. Amen

Today’s Question

How has God shown His love, mercy and grace to you? How can you show patience to your spouse?

More Resources

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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