If I asked you for the reference to the Bible verse that says the Lord is, “slow to anger and abounding in love” one of you might tell me it is in Psalms. Another Exodus. Still yet another might point to the book of Numbers.
And the truth is you would all be right.
It struck me recently that there are eight (that I’ve found) references in Scripture that describe God as being, “slow to anger, abounding in love.”
And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness… ~ Exodus 34:6
The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion… ~ Numbers 14:18
They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love… ~ Nehemiah 9:17
But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. ~ Psalm 86:15
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. ~ Psalm 103:8
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. ~ Psalm 145:8
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. ~Joel 2:13
He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. ~ Jonah 4:2
Being slow to anger and abounding in love is an essential characteristic of God. Countless prophets and Old Testament heroes penned those exact words. Even in the New Testament, Peter says the same thing in 2 Peter 3:9,
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Leviticus 20:26 tells us that we are set apart to be holy as the Lord is holy. If He is slow to anger and abounding in love, shouldn’t we as wives strive to be the same?
I am not a wife who is slow to anger, abounding in love.
We who are followers of Christ know that being on the receiving end of this kind of love is breathtakingly beautiful. However, offering that kind of love is incredibly difficult. We must be humble, self-controlled, patient, and not self-seeking if we are going to be slow to anger. Abounding in love means that we always put the other person’s needs above our own… going out of our way to express our love in extravagant ways that are meaningful to the recipient.
Could it be that our marriages would be easier, and our relationship with our husbands flourish if we adopted these two important attitudes? I never considered it before, but perhaps this little repetitive Scripture phrase could be some of the best marriage advice around.
How can you become a wife who is slow to anger, abounding in love?