The first two ingredients for the love potion are kindness and patience. Honestly, I used to think I mastered the kindness part. I had someone tell me once that I was a kind man. I took that as a compliment—even though they did not know me very well. Webster defines kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and consider- ate.” So it makes sense that these would be good ingredi- ents for our love potion. Most of the time I am friendly to Nancy—except when she makes me mad. Most of the time I am generous—until I want something for myself. Most of the time I am considerate—unless Nancy is not meeting my needs. Maybe kindness is not as easy for me as I thought it would be. I have some work for God to do in this area of my life.
Patience is really a mystery to me. There are times in marriage that I think I am really patient, and there are times I show very little patience at all. If I look deep inside myself, I honestly think the root of my impatience is self- ishness. I get impatient when things are not going my way. If I want to be somewhere at a particular time and I have to wait for Nancy, I get impatient. If I want something and have to wait for it, I get impatient. I am selfish. Yet if I am to have an awesome marriage, I cannot be selfish. It does not compute.
Jesus talked about relationships. He said one of the essential rules of life is to love your neighbor as yourself. This includes my wife. In fact, I think she is at the top of the list of those I am to love as myself. I need to turn things around. When she is late, I need to be patient. When I do not get what I want, I need to be patient. I know I cannot be this patient person on my own. I need help, and I have a God who is here to help me and change me—to make me more like Jesus.
Do you struggle with kindness or patience—or both? Are you ready to change? Ask God for help, and commit to start today.
The first two ingredients of a loving marriage are kindness and patience.