I’ve been thinking about my desire to be more patient with my children. I’ve been praying about it, but then I started thinking more deeply (forgive me– I think more at certain times of the month!) Is prayer the only thing I can do to be more patient?
We talked a little bit about teamwork, something that helps me to be more patient. When I can change my attitude into one of helping– kindness!– I am loving my children, and it’s probably not a surprise that I’m more patient in the process.
I need to remember more that LOVE is patient. That helps me understand an important motive for patience, as well as a goal to reach for. If I look at all of I Corinthians 13, I can easily see ways that I can love my children and naturally be more patient. Love is kind? Love is not selfish? Love sees things in the best light? I think about how often I assume the worst and snap at my children, only to find out after the fact that I was falsely accusing them. I’ve been increasingly aware of my tendency to determine motives: You were being prideful, You wanted Laurel to feel bad, You didn’t care about such and such, and so on. I’ve been trying to rephrase these accusations as questions: It looks like you were being prideful. Could it be that you wanted your sister to feel bad? What I’ve discovered is that when I attempt to be more loving by asking these questions, I’m more patient, too.
One of the verses that we talk about with our children is James 1:19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;
Today I was realizing that these three commands were given together for a reason. If I am slow to speak (asking more questions) and quick to hear (paying attention to what they say), I will be slow to anger (more patient).
I’ve been helping my children not to be quick to anger. Typically, it has taken awhile for me to realize that I need the lesson too. I tell my children, Asking questions and listening to the answer is a good way to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath all at once.
Good questions must be learned just like patience. Slowly, with a lot of practice and failures! But we progress nonetheless. Praise God for this!