Can’t You Hurry It Up!
by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
We live in a society that moves in a mad rush. I’m sure you’ve felt it. There are three cars in front of you at the drive-through and you’re tapping your foot, frustrated that it is going to take you two extra minutes to get a sandwich that would have taken you thirty minutes or more to fix at home. People push their cars ten or twenty miles-an-hour over the speed limit to travel ten miles down the road. It must save them all of what, sixty seconds? Could it be that we have forgotten how to wait?
This “must have it now” attitude affects every aspect of our lives, even our relationships. Love is expected to bop you over the head the first time you see that special someone. Yet, is that really love? Paul describes love in I Corinthians 13:4-7. Is this the love you hope for in a relationship? Where in that list are the warm-fuzzy feelings and butterflies in the stomach? If this is what love really is, then how long do you think it will take to develop a relationship that behaves as Paul describes?
The Song of Solomon is a beautiful poem about the courtship, marriage, and love-life of a woman who eventually married King Solomon. While they were engaged, she was so thrilled with her man that she was almost sick (Song of Solomon 2:4-5). She begins to daydream of him lying next to her with one arm under her head and his other arm pulling her close (Song of Solomon 2:6) . . . But then she interrupts herself. The actress in this play steps out of her role, turns to her audience, and warns them not to awaken or arouse love until love pleases (Song of Solomon 2:7).
Too often men and women want to rush love. They long for the deep relationship described in I Corinthians 13, so they push things along. They engage in sex as if they were a married couple – but they are not. They live together as if they have made a commitment to each other for the rest of their lives – but they have not. In so many ways they play at being in love, but love didn’t have time to develop. They push it so hard that the tender shoots of love get damaged and never form properly.
Keep in mind that the first quality of true, abiding love is patience.
For Further Study
Verses to Consider
- II Corinthians 6:4-10
- Galatians 5:22
- Ephesians 4:1-3
- Colossians 3:12-15
- I Thessalonians 5:14
- II Timothy 2:23-25
- II Timothy 3:10-11
- Titus 3:1-7
- James 1:2-4
- James 3:17
Questions to Ponder
- Can friendships develop without patience? Why?
- How has God shown patience with us?
- What are some things we can keep in mind to help us be patient with others?
- Which must come first: love or patience? Why?