Living Love: Love Is Patient


February Series: Living Love
Musing 1 of 4 – Love Is Patient


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. —1 Corinthians 13: 4 NIV

My father-in-law was bent over the tiny necklace with pliers in one hand and a magnifying glass propped up by the other. He had been focused on his task for at least an hour. I was amazed at his patience and perseverance as he slowly detangled the little-girl necklace loved by my daughter. Earlier, she had come to us in tears, crying because her favorite little necklace chain was knotted up beyond fixing. I certainly had agreed with her assessment and was ready to throw it away when Dad stepped in and said, “Give it to me.” We did. And slowly but surely, he untangled the mess. You see, he loved his little grandgirl and wanted to fix it for her, even if it took a very, very long time.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, defines Agape, a Greek word seldom used outside the New Testament that means “sacrificial love.” The highest form of love, it means putting others’ needs ahead of your own. Paul talks about it often, but nowhere as thoroughly as in this passage of his letter to the Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 13). Since I’ve chosen Agape as my focus word for 2023, I’m memorizing this chapter. And. I have a lot to learn.

I am not particularly patient, sad to say. I have discovered this impatient side of me every time …

  • I sit on hold for more than two minutes.
  • I’m stuck in traffic when I’m in a hurry.
  • I’m having trouble opening a jar.
  • I want someone to “hurry up” for any reason, and they don’t.

This is not good. God calls me to exercise patience toward others. Patience is a sign that I can love sacrificially, putting their needs ahead of my own. If I think about it, I surely appreciate it when others are patient with me. I do want to learn and grow in this area. I suspect the Lord will give me multiple opportunities this year as I recite “love is patient” in my mind and ask for His help in demonstrating Agape in multiple situations.

We are in such a rush-and-hurry world. So many tasks can be done at the snap of a finger that we expect instant results even when we shouldn’t. Often, the best course of action is to love someone with patience. They will be blessed—and perhaps shocked in a world where patience is not typical.

February is when we traditionally think of love romantically; let’s also think of it “Christianly.” Let’s practice Agape love and grow in our expertise! As I close this little Musing, I tip my hat to those of you who are further along in this life lesson than I am. My admiration and gratitude to you …

  • mother of a special needs child, as you carefully and slowly spoon-feed him, wiping his sweet mouth after every bite and settling into the 45-minute routine that is your regular feeding schedule.
  • wife of a seriously ill husband, as you patiently take him to daily appointments and cheerily fill the hard places with your kindness and caring.
  • caregiver of a disabled mother, as you walk with her, ever-so-slowly as she makes her way to the car in that new little shuffle, she’s developed since her hip injury.
  • random person in traffic who stopped to let me in with a gracious smile, even though that meant your wait would be longer.
  • weary pastor, as you listen for hours to the needs of those in your congregation, trying to share wisdom between the torrent of words that pour out of anguished souls.
  • hard-working parent, trying to muster up the energy to sing and pray before popping those energetic kiddos into bed at night.

God sees you. He, who is so patient with His own dear ones, loves to see that kind of patient love reflected in you. Love is patient. And just like Ray’s father cared enough to painstakingly untangle a cheap, little, much-loved necklace for a grandchild, God cares enough to untangle our messes over and over, exercising far more patience than we deserve. Let’s be more like Him.

Heavenly Father, how grateful I am for Your sacrificial love for me, so evident in Your patience with me. I thank You that no matter how many times I return to You, head bowed, feeling foolish for doing things my way instead of Your way, You forgive me, love me, hold me close. I thank You that I can tell You anything, and I never need to give You the short version. You listen. You care. You wait for me to learn and grow, and You never, ever give up on me or let me go. How I praise You! Because of Jesus’ death on my behalf, I am free to come to You at any time. Thank You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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