1 Corinthians Chapter 13 includes the Great Love passage of the Bible, outlining several facets of what love is. When I truly meditated on the scriptures, there was no surprise that the first descriptor of love is patience.

When Omari and I first got together, I'll admit, I was not relationship material. Sure, I loved him deeply, but I was very high maintenance. I HAD to get my nails done bi-weekly. I went shopping much more often than was necessary. I was very materialistic. Now before I make myself seem like an absolute terror (I assure you, I wasn't), I'll stop. You get the idea! I had a lot of growing and molding to do.

Back then, my husband had the advantage of having lived independently for years. He was used to having to budget, pay bills, and manage his everyday life without the help of mom or dad. Yes, I lived "pseudo-independently" for a while in college, but I'd never experienced what it really means to live an independent, adult life. I mean, for goodness sake, my life was still funded by my parents. With the exception of having to pay for minuscule things like my cell phone, or rent (which was truly only a small portion of the rent) to my mom, I was able to live a virtually carefree life. I was young, dumb, inexperienced, and used to putting myself first. I was used to having the luxury of relying on others for the big things like school expenses or first cars, and even the small things, like being able to drive my “pseudo-independent” butt home to my mom with a carload of laundry.

Now let's fast forward to a few years later, and add in a husband and two small children. Boy, did I have a lot of changing to do! The important things were no longer solely about what I wanted; now they were more about my responsibilities as a wife and mother. Having moved out of his mother's home as a teenager and started his academic and professional lives in a new state, my husband was more apt and capable of making those necessary changes. For me, there was more of a learning curve.

Our individual aptitude to adapt to our new lives as a married couple and parents has been the cause of much discord in our relationship. However, my husband's patience with me has made a world of difference. Though I'm sure it hasn't been the easiest for him, my husband hasn't expected me to change and match him overnight. He's been very patient with me. In fact, his patience has been one of my greatest motivators.

Love is patient. Exercising patience is a key way to show that we love our spouses. No two people are alike, and there's beauty in that. Where one spouse is weak, the other can be strong and help the other to grow. With Omari’s help and guidance, I’ve been able to grow in the areas in our relationship where I was once weak. With my guidance, he’s been able to do the same in his areas of weakness. Love is patient. Love is willing to be that helping hand to our spouse. Can you think of some instances where your patience with your spouse has truly motivated him/her to grow? How has that affected your marriage? Leave your feedback in the comments!

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