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Editorial

Marriage and Family


A Patient Response



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06/01/2011 - Golf, fishing, kids, baseball, marriage and politics. What do these all have in common? No, it is not that they all can be great ways to ruin a beautiful day. Although, if this was your guess, you may not have been too far off. The answer is that they all take patience to endure.

Edward G. Bulwer, a British politician, poet and novelist once said, "Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength." This could explain why patience does not come naturally for most of us, but rather takes work.

As a people, we tend to be very reactionary. In sports, fans alternate between loving and hating an athlete depending on their performance. We can be overjoyed with a good golf swing, and then dump all our clubs in the pond after teeing off the next hole. We can come home on top of the world after a good day at work, and then be quickly irate over conflicts with our kids or spouses. Our reactionary responses will often lead to more damage than good. Kids build resentments at their parents, spouses distance themselves from each other, and people find themselves digging deeper holes because they are failing to control their reactions.

If we are going to be people of integrity, then we must learn to exercise patience. The disease of selfishness causes our minds to expect completely fair and just treatment. We desire to see others anticipate and meet our needs. Expectations are held as to how others are to behave, and they rarely act as they should. We even expect circumstances to fall in line with our ideals. The problem is that this isn't reality. If we don't have the strength to exercise patience, then we will fail to truly experience the blessing in life that we have.

Edward Bulwer was right, patience is a concentrated strength. We need to make it a priority that sits in the forefront of our minds, that in all circumstances we do not allow ourselves to react. Thought out responses will keep families together and grow disciplined and thoughtful kids for future generations. Now if you will excuse me, I have to go buy flowers to call on my wife, Carla's, patience for when she reads the first paragraph of this article.

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