When Robert and I first got married (almost 23 years ago!), I was not very patient terribly impatient. For the first couple of years, it wasn’t too much of a problem because it was just the two of us. But when our oldest was born, it became obvious how deep my impatience ran.

I had definite ideas about how parenting should go….and most of those ideas went unexpressed until Robert did something that was contrary to them.

Poor guy. I’m certain (because he told me!) that all of that impatience directed at him made him feel like a terrible dad.

Robert is a great dad and my impatience sent him a message that I certainly didn’t intend to send. (Just a note: at that point in our marriage, Robert was a stay-at-home dad while I worked as a kindergarten teacher because I knew that our son would benefit from being at home with his dad rather than in a day care setting.)

Once Robert told me how my impatient behavior made him feel, I did my best to change my pattern of communication, but it was extremely difficult.

In fact, it took a few years of prayer for me to see significant, lasting change in myself in the area of exhibiting patience toward my husband. I’m not proud of that fact and I’d rather keep the past in the past, but I’m sharing this with you today in the hope that my experience will help you if you struggle in this area.

One of the key lessons I learned was from Proverbs 25:15

Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,
    and a gentle tongue can break a bone. Proverbs 25:15, NIV

Patient persistence pierces through indifference;
    gentle speech breaks down rigid defenses. Proverbs 25:15, The Message

What the Lord showed me in this verse was that if I acted with patience and gentleness toward Robert I was more likely to get my desired result than if I was impatient and harsh.

While I had experienced that gentleness and patience as a child at home, somehow I hadn’t been able to translate that into my actions and speech toward my husband. I needed the Holy Spirit to teach me that lesson!

I’m so glad that God was patient with me while I was learning this lesson!  {He’s good that way, you know.}

The interesting thing to me is this: Robert wasn’t being difficult about parenting until I expressed impatience. My impatience created a sense of indifference in him toward me (he simply got tired of being told how to do things and started ignoring some of the things I said to him) and made him defensive.

Because I wasn’t manifesting the fruit of the Spirit in my life, I created problems that didn’t exist before.

Kinda crazy, right?

Today, if you find yourself acting impatiently toward your husband, RUN to the Lord and ask Him to help you to manifest patience! If you will sow seeds of patience into your marriage, you will reap a harvest of patience exhibited toward you. And that, dear reader, is a good thing.