Longsuffering. The very word doesn’t sound enjoyable. It sounds like a challenge. One that we might not want to take part in. However, showing forth longsuffering in our homes is essential to our relationships with those we love.
I’ve heard longsuffering described as “suffering long”. The words are simple enough, but what exactly are we supposed to suffer long…and why for that matter?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
What is Longsuffering?
Longsuffering isn’t easy. It isn’t an enjoyable process nor will it bring an immediate sense of accomplishment.
Webster’s defines longsuffering as, “Bearing injuries or provocation for a long time; patient; not easily provoked.”
Longsuffering in Life
Throughout our lives, we have often struggled with the wrongs done unto us. We speak of life being unfair.
Yet, as Christians, we already know that life will probably be this way for a significant portion of our lives.
What does God’s Word tell us about being longsuffering?
Scripture tells us specifically that we will face difficulties, struggles and persecution.
…if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
….all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Titus 3:12
…if they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you… John 15:20
As Jesus says we must daily take up our cross to follow him. The crosses we bear are NOT physical as His was, we must take on all our struggles and deny ourselves. We must be willing to take whatever difficulty comes our way and follow Christ.
Longsuffering in Our Homes
We will be wronged, hurt and crushed often by the people we love most. Being close to others opens up an avenue for our sinful nature to cause pain in personal ways.
In a family, you know how each family member ticks. When you’ve been wronged it is easy to hurt those who have hurt you, if you are not vigilant in being longsuffering.
4 Ways to Exhibit Longsuffering in Our Homes
1. We must choose to let go of the pain that has been inflicted on us, pick up and move on.
Our love for our families coupled with the knowledge that we ALL are sinners must drive us to carry on.
2. We must choose to forgive and not hold grudges.
As God’s word says, we must forgive in order to be forgiven.
3. We must realize that at some point we will be the one inflicting pain on another, whether intentional or not.
We do not want to have anything held against us, so we must do that which we would want to be done to us.
4. We must remember that God is longsuffering toward us.
As parents, we are to teach our children of His ways. Much of the time this is through our actions! (2 Pet. 3:9)
We often tell our children that life is not fair. However, that is something we tend to forget as adults when we have been wronged. It tends to be a reminder we tell our kids, but not ourselves.
It would serve us well if we held that truth in our hearts. Life is not fair, but Jesus is. He alone can right every wrong. Even the ones we’ve done.
I encourage you to hide the following Scripture in your heart. When longsuffering seems too big of a load to bear, remember that you’re not alone carrying this burden. We all have caused others to have to be longsuffering towards us…even if we are not aware of it.
…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone… John 8:7
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