As I’ve discussed before, in order to better act lovingly toward you, I need to foster a loving character in myself (through Christ working in me: Jn. 15:1-8; Phil. 2:13-14). One way of doing this is by thinking over, praying about, and exercising love or one of its characteristics.
In light of this, yesterday I did so regarding patience, since love is patient. First, I considered the nature of patience and what it is to act patiently. Then, I prayed that God would afford me opportunities to act patiently and that he would give me the grace to do so when those opportunities arose. Then, I waited for the opportunities. Given that we have three young kids, there were opportunities aplenty. I know that developing character takes time, practice, and grace, but at least yesterday was a step in the right direction.
On a related note, I don’t think I’ve ever prayed for patience before, partly because I’m scared of what circumstances God might use to foster patience in me. After all, suffering is a great vehicle for character growth (Rom. 5:4). But, after years of stifled growth, I’m slowly accepting that the benefits of character growth outweigh the hardships brought on by this vehicle (though I say this as one who hasn’t suffered much). Then again, I’m not waiting for suffering with open arms. Instead, I’m asking God to do with my life what he deems best. Even so, I’m asking reluctantly, which is odd since God’s in a decent position to know what’s best.