In our microwave-fast culture, it can be hard to wait for things to change. We want things to happen now – not later, and definitely not eventually. We are eager for things to be different – with ourselves, and sometimes with the people we love.
The danger is that our impatience can often turn to pressure. Perhaps this is no more pronounced that in our relationship with our spouse. We see things that should be changed – maybe even things that if changed will benefit them – and we want that to happen immediately. Instead of waiting for God to work, we begin working on the other person – so that they conform to the standards we have set (seemingly unconcerned with whether these are God’s standards too.)
It’s a process that we would never apply to our children. We celebrate each small step they take – even when it doesn’t mean that they are now ready to run a marathon. We know that development doesn’t happen over night – that it takes the God-initiated process of time, effort and patience for them to grow. Yet, we often look for instantaneous growth in others. We want them to immediately become the person that we think they were created to be.
What we often fail to remember is that if we “work” on our spouse, it will be a lot less effective then if God works in them. He is the One who we need to trust to transform them into His likeliness. We should encourage and we should help, as we are able, but ultimately the responsibility is His. We need to have patience for the work that He is doing and extend that patience to those we love.
Waiting is hard – there’s no doubt about it. But there’s also no doubt that if we are waiting on God we can trust in the work that He is doing.