Patient Endurance of Another's Humanness
Walk . . . with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
Tolerance relates to putting up with another person's obvious humanness and bearing with his or her imperfections. To express tolerance demands setting aside a self-centered focus and adopting instead a God-centered perspective. God sees each of us as very different, absolutely unique, undoubtedly imperfect, but divinely created.
To express tolerance means I must "suffer long" with my spouse and "put up with" his or her humanness. I must bear with my spouse's flaws and peculiarities with a good attitude. I must be free from resentment as I show tolerance toward my spouse. I must show humility and gentleness instead.
Tolerance relates to patiently enduring my spouse's differences in preference and habits. I must be patient if I like crunchy peanut butter and she insists on smooth. I must be patient if he's a night owl and I'm at my best at dawn. Tolerance also relates to patiently enduring my spouse's weaknesses. I must suffer long even if I always put the car keys on the designated key hook and yet my spouse can barely find the car. I must maintain a good attitude even when I have a great sense of direction and am quite adept at reading a map and yet my spouse can't find his or her way out of a paper bag.
Finally, tolerance relates to God's choice to bear with me and my sin as He sent His Son to die. God endured my humanness as He gave up His Son on my behalf. He daily endures my imperfections and suffers long as I struggle to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Tolerance is a gift I have been given. I am challenged to give what I have already received.
What issues might you overlook today that have previously been a "big deal"? How might you show tolerance for your spouse?
Thank You, Father, for Your powerful example in putting up with me.