Forbearance is patience, fortitude and acceptance under trying circumstances. We tolerate hardship with good grace. We quietly call on our self-restraint. We are long-suffering in situations that we cannot control. We do not allow the trials of life to steal our joy. We extend forgiveness and understanding to others, knowing that we all have flaws and frailties. We are forbearing with ourselves, humbly mindful of the times we fall short, ready to move forward to try again. Forbearance is the mortar that keeps our relationships resilient and strong.


Forbearance is the greatest virtue. Cover the blemishes, faults, and weaknesses of others. Excuse their feelings, bury their weakness in silence…and forgive.

— Karunamayi, 21st century guru

 The Practice of Forbearance

  • I am accepting in times of trouble.
  • I tolerate what I cannot control.
  • I use self-restraint to calm my emotions.
  • I am patient and forgiving with others.
  • I humbly learn from my mistakes.
  • I am committed for the long run.
Definitions and practices of virtue are used with permission from the Virtues Project™.

In Family Life

Forbearance is a unique superpower that helps us stay calm and patient when things get tough or people do things that might upset us. It’s like having a magical shield that protects us from getting angry or upset too quickly. Instead of getting upset immediately, we take a deep breath, try to understand why something happened, and give others a chance to make things right.

Forbearance helps us be kind and forgiving even when things don’t go our way.

In family life, forbearance is like a secret family potion that keeps everyone close and happy. Sometimes, brothers and sisters might argue, or parents may get stressed, but forbearance teaches us to be patient and listen to each other. When someone in the family makes a mistake or does something that bothers us, forbearance helps us not hold grudges but forgive and move forward. It’s like putting on an invisible cape that allows us to get along better and enjoy each other’s company more.

With forbearance, our family becomes a team of superheroes who always support and understand each other, no matter what happens.

Balancing Forbearance

Forbearance is a virtue that embodies patience, fortitude, and acceptance in the face of adversity. It is the cornerstone of resilience. Let’s explore which virtues can help maintain the delicate balance of this virtue.

      • Wisdom: Wisdom helps discern when to exercise forbearance and assert oneself. It enables individuals to make informed decisions about when patience and action are necessary.
      • Courage: Courage is essential in preventing overdeveloped forbearance. It empowers individuals to confront injustice and stand up for themselves and others when necessary.
      • Compassion: Compassion complements forbearance by encouraging understanding and forgiveness towards others and ourselves. It allows us to extend grace to those who may have wronged us.
      • Resilience: Resilience helps develop a balance of forbearance by providing the strength to endure hardships while maintaining one’s emotional and mental well-being.
      • Self-Awareness: Being mindful of our own boundaries and emotions is crucial to finding the right balance of forbearance. Self-awareness helps us avoid overextending ourselves or neglecting our needs.

In conclusion, Forbearance is a virtue nurtured with wisdom, courage, compassion, resilience, and self-awareness, which can bring about a profound sense of inner peace and strong, resilient relationships. It is a virtue worth cultivating and balancing to lead a fulfilling life.