I’ve been reading the book ‘A Love worth Giving’ by Max Lucado a second time. It’s taught me a lot about love. “Love is patient…” is at the top of the famous 1 Corinthians 13 series of how love’s should be. It is love’s flagship – bearing all other attributes of love behind it. This entry is taken from Max Lucado’s book about love being patient – and is meant to remind us about true patience in love.
It is no surprise to us that men and women have different points of view. What may be positive to a male could spring anxiety to a female. What may be exciting to a female could be challenging to a male.
As I continue reading Dr. Steve Stephens book entitled, ‘Lost in Translation’, it inspired me to write blogs about how men and women think. For this article, I’ll talk about nagging in particular.
Experience also allows us to continuously learn that conflicts arise from misunderstandings and misunderstandings arise due to differing backgrounds, conflict and languages. This book interestingly brings to light these differences.
Disclaimer: I understand that as unique individuals, we have our own responses. This article merely speaks about the general reality of disparity among sexes. It does not aim to point out that all men react one way or all women respond as another.
More than once I heard male office mates share, “You know, I might as well do what she thinks I’m doing. After all, she already thinks of me this way. I’m sick of her constant babbling! Then, she’d really have a reason to nag me about it!”
It’s sad to think that husbands and wives create larger gaps between them because their intentions get lost in translation.
Dr. Steven addresses this in his 2 probable reasons as to why women repeat themselves more than necessary:
- When your partner talks, do you make it a point that you look at him or her in the eye? Do you address the concern seriously? Or do you just shrug it off and tell him or her to cut it out?
- Did you do anything or try to improve on what your partner asks of you? If so, did you try harder? Have you both discussed on what could be a good compromise so as to settle the issue? If not, why don’t you start?
In my opinion, all of us have both played the roles of being misunderstood and not understanding someone at some point in our lives. The question really, is have we gone the extra mile of trying hard to understand? Or did you just say, “Forget it, it’s hopeless!”? I may be idealistic when I say, faith and hope equals possibilities.
In addition, Dr. Stevens also proposed tips on what NOT to do when women present their concerns:
1. Don’t demand
- Men are designed to lead. As stated in Ephesians 5: 23, ” For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” In the previous verse it writes, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.” Women, painstakingly I say, this is a command. Men universally abhor the feeling of being disrespected. When they are, they find a way to stay on top; if not, they retaliate by being quiet. Either way, women won’t get what they want.
- Watch your tone of voice. This is important because surely, your partner could tell your emotions by the tone of your voice. As Proverbs 1: 15 says, “A gentle response turns away wrath”.
2. Don’t expect too much. If things do not go the way you want it, let it be.
- Be humble. You are not perfect as well. There are also qualities, attitudes you possess that others may also not appreciate including your partner. This is also a humbling reminder to look at our weaknesses too before complaining about others’. In Matthew 7: 3, Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
- Be patient. Life goes on despite your partner’s flaws.
So you either make your life miserable by focusing on what he could not do or you could create a positive environment and be patient. Pray. Trust that God hears your heart’s desires. And that He knows best. He will give it to you in His time, if it is good for you. Meanwhile, He wants you to learn to patience.
“I’m only human, made of flesh and blood, a mere man…”
One way or the other, you’ve probably heard this song; on the radio, on your ipod, someone singing along… In one circumstance or the other, you may have also uttered this phrase in one of the trying times of life. “I can’t do it, I’m only human!”
He quoted in his book a passage that struck me: “Opportunity only knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.”
Wouldn’t you agree?
Think of just one temptation that you’re really having a hard time resisting: the latest iPhone, that so-worth-it dress, Facebook! Have you ever felt it calling you? Yes? That there seems to be a voice inside your head that says, ‘Well, I can afford it, not that I need it badly, but I want it!’, or ‘What’s so wrong about spending a few hours on Facebook?, or these are just minor issues, why bother, correct? Then this article is just for you.
All big things start small. Success can start in a dream. And in the same way, failure and defeat can start with just a small want. Don’t underestimate the power of desire.
An extra hour or two in Facebook may cause you to slack at work, lack sleep, fall into pornography, commit sexual immorality, in short sin. Wanting to buy that Iphone and/or must-have dress may cause you to lie, to lack self-control and spend beyond your means, debt: again sin. We have to remember, temptation leans on the doorbell.
How do we battle with temptation?
“Consider it all joy my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1: 2-4
Temptation is not sin but it is one step away. We have to learn to flee and run and then pursue righteousness that we may learn patience, endurance, sensitivity to others and especially a moment-by-moment trust in the sufficiency of Christ’s grace. Temptation is one way of maturing us to be more like Jesus, allowing us to depend on Christ in times of our struggles. Therefore, to grow is to be tempted.
I find this song by Alexandra Burke entitled “Before it Explodes”, a helpful tool for you and I to remember:
“Let’s stop the madness before it explodes
Before it’s out of our control
We gotta let it go
Before it all explodes”
We are all a work in progress when it comes to developing our character. But choosing to say no to temptation is the first step.
Being human has no bearing in our potential to overcome temptation. It may affect our desire but not our ability.
Often, we ask God for something. And often, we wait for some time before we get it. How do we become more patient towards God especially when we ask Him for something and He doesn’t seem to hear?
This entry has been inspired by past events in my life wherein I prayed and asked God and He answered me with a resounding ‘YES’ and then He told me to wait. I thought I heard His ‘yes’ wrong, hence my series of ‘relationship’ entries such as:
- What I think about girls who have had past relationships
- How to Surrender a Relationship
- 3 Steps on how to move on from a Relationship
- Why you easily fall in love after a breakup
- Five Things I tell singles who asks “Am I ready for a relationship?”
- 11 Wrong concepts of Love
- Why Loving someone too much can be Dangerous
- How to Overcome Insecurity when Courting or being Courted
- 5 Things to keep in mind on how to Love a person of the Opposite Sex
But now I’m so graciously blessed with that which I prayed for. I want you to have the same patience especially when you hear a ‘YES’ from God.
God is the great Giver
Everything comes from God. He is the Maker. Creator. All things come from Him and are created for Him – for His glory and purpose. Everything we have, everything we own comes from God.
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” – John 1:3
The three Answers
When we pray and ask God, there are only three answers He gives: “Yes”, “No”, and “Wait”. More often than not, we don’t like the latter two. But God doesn’t always give us what we want. He knows what is best for us. He knows His purposes for us. And sometimes, we complain and lose patience with God when we want something from Him really bad – especially when we thought we heard a ‘Yes’.
A man who was very Patient with God
Let’s look at the life of Abraham. His was a life of huge promises. God told Abraham that he was to become the father of many nations – how was that gonna happen when he didn’t have a single heir? Neither son nor daughter was born to Abraham because his wife.
“I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others.” – Genesis 12:-2
“Abram was seventy-five years old when the LORD told him to leave the city of Haran…” – Genesis 12: 4
Here, we can see that Abraham got a ‘YES’ answer from God regarding descendants because God Himself promised so. Abraham was 75 then.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children…” – Genesis 16:1
It’s not that Sarai didn’t want to bear children for Abraham on purpose (during those days, there were no contraceptives). She just really wasn’t able to. Sarai was barren.
“But Abram answered, ‘LORD All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own.'” – Genesis 15:2
Abraham desired to have children to pass on his possessions.
But God gave Abraham a promise.
“”I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” – Genesis 12:2-3
No, you do not become a nation when you are just one guy.
“No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.” – Genesis 17:5
God told Abraham that he will be a FATHER of many nations. He wasn’t even a father of one kid. Many nations? Things looked quite bleak now that Abraham and Sarah were way past the ideal ‘conceiving’ stage.
“Abram was ninety-nine years old when the LORD appeared to him again and said, “I am God All-Powerful. If you obey me and always do right, I will keep my solemn promise to you and give you more descendants than can be counted.” Abram bowed with his face to the ground, and God said: I promise that you will be the father of many nations. That’s why I now change your name from Abram to Abraham. I will give you a lot of descendants, and in the future they will become great nations.” – Genesis 17:1-6
Things were looking bleak because now, 24 years have passed since God told him he was going to have descendants.
“Abraham, your wife’s name will now be Sarah instead of Sarai. I will bless her, and you will have a son by her…” – Genesis 17:15-16
How come Abraham was patient with God’s promise? It has been 24 years since that ringing ‘YES’ from God. It turned out to be a long’ WAIT’.
When you believe that God will bring to pass that which He promised, then it changes everything. Knowing God’s character removes all doubt that He can do all things. The truth of the matter is, GOD CAN. And if He says He will, who can say otherwise?
Abraham believed God because he knew that God is God. He keeps His promises. Someday, somehow, in God’s way and timing, it will happen. Abraham was patient with God because he believed in Him. Abraham was called a man of faith – not only because of this but with a lot more he has put at stake for God. He waited, he was patient and he knew that it will happen.
“Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.” – Genesis 21:2
He was rewarded not only with a resounding ‘YES’ but with the honor of blessing the whole world through his descendant Jesus Christ.
Patience with God involves faith.
Are you waiting on God?
Are you being pushed in means and ways beyond your limits? Is getting by with life harder and harder each day? Are you simply tired?
You most probably are and have been at some point that’s why this topic appealed to you. Let me first encourage you that even Jesus experienced stress. And even if looking around, others seem to just be having the time of their life, living la vida loca and dancing in the moonlight; in this human race, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
This entry was inspired by Jesus being crowded upon people lost, wanting to be healed or released from evil spirits as they hear Him passing by. Jesus and his disciples continued their ministry/work even to the point of missing meals.
Allow me to share with you 4 ways God impressed upon my heart as ways on how to approach stress:
Examine Yourself. Go back to basics. Who are you today and who were you before?
Before you resort to quitting your job, are you sure you have completely learned the ropes? Can you confidently say that you’re a better manager, consultant or cook now than when you first started this job? Would you be leaving a legacy to those people who witnessed this phase in your life?
In terms of character, are you in line with God’s purpose for this occurrence? Are you being salt and light to the people around you? Would Jesus be pleased with your reactions? Keep in mind, your response is your responsibility.
Spend Quality time with God. Pamper yourself in His Presence.
Meditate upon His Word and character. The Bible tells us that Jesus spends a lot of quality, alone time with His Father “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
During His most stressful time, when He was about to be crucified to pay the price for your sins and mine, he prayed earnestly and unceasingly that His sweat turned into blood.
“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – Luke 22:44
The personal relationship you have with your Savior is vitally important as we see:
“I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had absolutely no other place to go” – Abraham Lincoln
“I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it” – John Wesley
Face Your Giant. (From the book “Be All You Can Be” by John Maxwell)
David, being steadfast in his faith, grounded by the purpose to defend his Lord and King ready with his sling and stones, faced Goliath alone. Without the applause from the crowd or receiving encouragements from them but instead criticisms and ridicule.
When life pushes you around, be prepared to be alone. You have to put on the full armor of God so that you will be able to stand firm.
“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” – Ephesians 6:11
The crowd’s eyes will always be watching how you respond as a child of God.
Remember Love is Patient. (From the book, ‘A Love Worth Giving’ by Max Lucado)
Above everything else, beyond all that was said about love, love is first and foremost, patient.
Only when you have fully understood the insurmountable amount of debt you have and how God painfully yet willingly paid for it, can you extend a little patience… patience to wait for the results of a big exam, patience to wait for the return call of job interview, patience to work with a nerve-wrecking boss/ colleague or patience to just smile at the next reckless bus driver in Edsa.
God has to be your power source. “We love because He first lvoed us.” – 1John 4:19
And then you can extend patience as you practice Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God”.
And claim Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
We know that these things are easier said than done. But I urge you to take that leap of faith to follow through the tips recommended and see how it works for you. Perhaps the Mighty Orchestrator purposely brought you to this site that you may come to Him, where the “yoke is easy and the burden is light.” – Matthew 11:30
“Pray as if everything depended on God, and work as if everything depended upon man.”-Francis J. Spellman
Do your part. Be stretched for His Glory… then let go! Let God be God!