Monday, 6 February 2012

Tic Toc

Love is patient.1 Corinthians 13:4

Dennis Rainey offered the following insight which could serve us all well on many fronts.

I’ll be the first to admit it: When I go places, I like to be on time. Punctuality is a big deal to me. I am usually not obsessive about it, but I think it says something about your character and about the value you place on the event you’re attending or the person you’re scheduled to meet. That’s just me.

But it’s not Barbara. And on a few occasions in our many years of marriage, whatever character I thought I was displaying through being on time was more than cancelled out by the character I revealed through my impatience and angry words directed toward Barbara and the kids when they ran a little behind my schedule.

Cookie (that’s my pet name for Barbara) is an artist at heart. God has wonderfully wired her with imagination and originality. But numbers just don’t add up in her abstract mind. As a result, being punctual is a challenge for her. Fifteen minutes either side is considered an on-time arrival. Close enough. It simply doesn’t faze her.

I chuckle when I recall one of the greatest moments in my relationship with my father-in-law, Bob, who was an engineer. He said to me, “Dennis, all these years, you’ve arrived late to every one of our family gatherings. I always thought it was you. But as I sit back and think about it, I realize I was wrong. It’s not you. It’s my own child.” I smiled! There is justice!

But you know what’s not right? I have occasionally let punctuality become more important than people. I’ve lost sight of the fact that human relationships are more valuable than any human expectations of structure. And even though being on time may be important to me, it’s not more important than my wife and kids.

It is better to be a little late and still be in love.
It is not just impatience with being late that affects how we treat our loved ones; it is anything that conflicts with my desires, expectations and perceived needs. That can range from wanting peace and quiet when you return home from work to how money is spent or saved. When we get frustrated, irritated and/or agitated we must follow the example above and examine our own heart first to see what is at the core of our negative feelings. When we get to the point of checking our own heart first, we are well on our way to a marriage that will glorify God.

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