The call to love is no easy task. It’s often terribly inconvenient and trying – exposing our selfishness and requiring us to remain patient and kind even when we don’t feel like it.

Loving is easy when it doesn’t disrupt the flow of our day or require extra effort on our part.

But many days we don’t have this luxury and loving others comes with a cost.

In part, it requires large doses of both patience and kindness.

Perhaps this is easiest to see in raising children.

We understand they need time to grow and figure out life, and so we’re patient with them as they learn to walk, drive, and navigate adult realities.

And hopefully, much more than just patiently giving them time to grow, we’re also kind and gracious as they stumble, fall, and make many mistakes along the way.

But, however frustrating at times, our love compels us to gently and patiently endure all the ups and downs of their journey.

And a similar need is called for throughout our practice of love.

Family and friends often let us down and disappoint us in various ways.

Love is not ignoring or overlooking these shortcomings. In fact, humbly confronting issues is a needed and courageous act of love.

But like the child learning and growing, we meet them where they are – not expecting more of them than they’re capable of giving at this time.

And we remain kindhearted toward them – blessing them and actively promoting their welfare despite their shortcomings.

This is likely most difficult when it comes to loving our enemies. But even here, while being cunning yet harmless, patience and kindness is still called for.

We hinder the impact of love whenever we become impatient and careless.

Love well by remaining patient and kind.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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