“Love is not all that is required in a relationship. It needs understanding, openness, kindness, patience, long-suffering.” – Iyanla Vanzant
“Longsuffering is the greatest life survival virtue.“ – Lailah Gifty Akita – Ghanaian Author
The new installment of the popular (yet risqué) Bridgerton series on Netflix is an interpretation of the story of Queen Charlotte of England. She was a Black noble of Portuguese descent, who married King George III, the British monarch during the US War of Independence. A PBS article states that on this side of the Atlantic, the slogan: “The Queen of England was a Negro woman,” was weaponized by vice admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, in his campaign to persuade enslaved people to defect to the British during the 1812 War. More than 4000 did, making it the largest emancipation in the US until the Civil War. The series depicts how Queen Charlotte, in addition to braving the issues inherent in being both a woman (mother of 15) and a leader of color, navigates the storm of dealing with her husband’s mental illness. It is suspected that King George III, was bipolar —a psychiatric illness characterized by both manic and depressive episodes.Yet the couple remained steadfast. The masterful portrayal of Queen Charlotte by actresses Golda Rosheuvel and India Ria Amarteifio, gave us a glimpse into what it really means to love someone.
4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8aLove never fails. 1 Cor. 13:4-8a (NKJV)
We describe love in many ways: butterflies in the stomach, swooning, emotional, physical, or sexual attraction. Rarely, if ever, do we say…I love them or I know they love me because we’ve been willing to suffer in our relationship, yet we’ve still been patient and kind. But the Bible’s first definition of love, in its most famous passage about love, whether romantic or otherwise…is LONG-SUFFERING—which is defined as having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people. During Lent, we were reminded that even Christ’s passion in Scripture, meant“to suffer.” Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13) This does not just mean being willing to physically die, even for those who hate you, as Jesus did; it also means being willing to suffer—to experience something bad, painful, or unpleasant. It means to deny yourself and not insist on your own rights or your own way for the sake of someone you love. Long-suffering is a fruit or manifestation of the Spirit of God in us according to Galatians 5:22 So, when you suffer long with and for another, or you experience someone suffering long with and for you…you’ve also experienced God’s true love.