Can I Resent Tolerating You?

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What do you think God wants to do in your life -- in the face of your spouse's shortcomings?

Bear with each other and forgive . . . one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13, NIV

The Lord is the ultimate example of tolerance. He who is perfect, holy, and complete puts up with me, who is imperfect, sinful, and incomplete. God doesn't resent tolerating me. He doesn't pout and act like a martyr while He waits for me to "grow up." He's kind, gentle, patient, and loving. It's as if He is patient because He knows I'll "arrive" one day—even if it is in the world to come.

I wonder if I (David) could have this same kind of attitude toward my spouse, realizing that when Jesus appears, she shall be like Him. Knowing that, can I tolerate Teresa's imperfections as God has tolerated and continues to tolerate my own?

Teresa and I have been challenged to tolerate one another over the years in a variety of areas. My lateness, procrastination, and moodiness have prompted many retaliations from Teresa. Her bent toward control, speak­ing before thinking, and self-reliance have been the subject of many of my complaints and frustrations.

Whether it's because the years have taken their toll or because of a lack of success in trying to change one another, our focus has shifted dramatically. The past decade has brought to each of us this new question: "What would God like to do in my life in the face of my spouse's shortcom­ings?" Such a question has intensified the work of Christlikeness in each of us. God is well pleased with this work.

It seems like the more I've grown to understand and appreciate God's tolerance of me, the more tolerance I've had available for Teresa.

I guess that's what tolerance of one another in a marriage relation­ship is all about.

What do you think God wants to do in your life -- in the face of your spouse's shortcomings?

Lord, thank You for bearing with me in my imperfections.

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