Mar 1, 2013
One of the expressions that Eliot Glasgow used in our recently concluded marriage and family enrichment seminar was “the microwave mentality”. I understood that expression as a representation of a mindset that says, “Don’t make me wait. I want what I want now”. This resonated with me because I believe it speaks the truth regarding our modern disposition to not wait through difficult circumstances till deliverance comes. We will not wait on our spouses, on each other, or even God.
“Wait nah” is a colloquialism used in most Caribbean cultures. By wait we mean have patience, and nah is a negative, spoken with an interrogative inflection, and by one slightly irritated. The expression literally means “why don’t you wait? This Caribbean colloquialism poses a timely question to us in our fast pace world, oriented toward quick fixes and instant results.
Few of us, if any will doubt our general trend toward impatience, expressed in our desire for speed in our cars, computer processors, and internet service. This need for speed in our machines has spilled over into an area, infinitely more delicate and sacred -our relationships. In our modern way of thinking, there is no room for putting up with an undesirable condition, or bearing with circumstances that are less than ideal. To us there is neither value nor virtue in waiting on spouses who aren’t just the way we want them to be, or brethren who do not mature as quickly as we think they should. In our opinion, God takes far too long to respond to our needs and, in justification for doing something clearly against His expressed will, we will announce with a sense of pride, “I have been patient long enough”.
Such statements betray the half-hearted efforts we have been making, and our ignorance as to what really constitutes patience. Patience is not inactivity. In the marriage relationship, it is not just sitting with arms folded, expecting the change we desire to fall into our laps. While we wait on the Lord we must make sure that we are doing what he has asked us to do toward our spouses, and in the spirit that scripture enjoins. If, while I am waiting on God to strengthen me, or bring relief from a relationship situation that taxes me, I murmur, complain, issue threats, give ultimatums and start devising plan “B”, how can I say I have really tried God’s way? Going God’s way requires all of my powers, (physical, and spiritual, emotional and financial) placed behind His ideas. This even includes a firm expectation that things will get better through my submission and implementation of His will.
Our impatience demonstrates that we are out of touch with nature and the lessons on patience it teaches. When God set up the natural order of things, He included a time element as part of the process of getting things done. It takes a while before bananas, newly shot, can make their way into our smoothies, and before eggs newly hatched find their way into our chicken salads. Women who have conceived have to wait nine months for the joy of becoming mothers, and pine seedlings literally take years before they are ready to be harvested as sturdy durable lumber. Realities in the natural often speak of truths in the spiritual. There are no such things as ready-make Christians nor instantaneous wives or husbands. The blessing of a good spouse is one that comes through a process of love, understanding, forgiveness, adjustments and yes patience.
Scripture reveals that God who has made promises, reserves the right to bear long with us, in granting the requests made. God’s promise to Abraham to have a son in his old age was not immediately fulfilled nor was His promise to give to Abraham’s seed the land in which he was a stranger. Job’s dire condition was relieved only after God was ready, and Joseph struggled through sibling jealousy, unwanted sexual advances, lies, jail and ingratitude, before God would fulfill the promises contained in his childhood dreams. These giants of faith are known and praised by us, often without an appreciation for difficult circumstances under which they waited until God came through for them.
So if you want to reap the rewards of a happy and blessed home; if you hope to be vindicated against misunderstandings that you are sometimes the subject of; if you want to hear the sweet words of welcome by Jesus then our advice is simple. Wait nah!