Patience And Temperance
By bro Lee Tian Seng
Couples need to be patient when they attempt to resolve problems in marriage. Some problems are complicated and may have been left unresolved for a long time. For such problems, it may not be easy to resolve them in a single meeting. At times, we may get upset when we see that our problems are not resolved quickly. We get impatient and are tempted to give up. If we do, we will not achieve success in reconciliation. Showing sincere love towards our spouses helps us to be patient with them, because love “suffers long” or is patient.
1 Corinthians 13:4 - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.
Patience also means that we should allow the other party to talk and share their thoughts and perspectives. Often, couples understand a matter differently and act based on their own set of beliefs and assumptions. We should not be too quick to talk or judge a matter, but listen to understand the other party before giving our responses.
James 1:19 - So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Proverbs 18:13 - He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him.
Couples also need to show temperance or self-control when they talk about their problems. At times, the talk may develop into a heated argument, and couples get angry with each other. This would leave the problems unsolved, and discourage further attempts to come together to work on the problems.
2 Peter 1:5-7 - But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
We also need to practise self-control in our speech. When couples exchange harsh words during a meeting to resolve problems, they would end up very upset and hurt. It is wise to always speak softly and calmly when dealing with problems. The volume and tone of your voice can affect how your message is received by the other person.
Proverbs 15:1-2 - A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
Problems do not develop overnight, so we should not expect them to be resolved in an instance. Most of the time, couples need time to think through what has been discussed, to make decisions and be persuaded to change. So, if your initial attempt to solve problems does not lead to a solution, be patient and give each other more time. When you show patience and temperance, you show your commitment and sincerity in wanting to reconcile with your spouse.