Boy do I wish I could go to the store and buy this virtue. I'd stock up! Parenting without patience is like children without sleep....a complete disaster.
On the way to the boys soccer classes last night we got stuck in traffic. They asked, "Are we going to be late?" With a frustrated sigh I said, "Yep!" I then proceeded to watch car after car cut in front of the LONG line of cars at the front of the traffic-packed exit ramp. You know what I'm talking about, right? The drivers who aren't patient enough to wait in line like everyone else so they speed up to the front of the line and then dart in when they find a small opening. It seemed like a good opportunity for me to explain the importance of patience to the boys...AND MYSELF.
Me: "Is it nice for those drivers to cut in front of us?"
Me: "Is it fair?"
Me: "What should we do?"
Grayden: "We should love them mom. When Jesus was on the cross and the people were mean to him, that wasn't fair. But He still loved them."
Me: "Exactly. We have to learn to be patient with others, even when they aren't kind or when they do things that aren't fair. Instead of getting upset, we choose to love them."
Now listen friends...Most conversations about virtue or God don't go so well in our household. Usually, my "spiritual teaching" is interrupted by "poopy" talk or some random fact they feel they need to tell me that has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. Clearly, God orchestrated this one.
Let's pray for patience for our children today! Patience, like that of Jesus, gives us the power to choose to love others even when they don't deserve it. It protects us from trouble. It keeps our hearts from anger and bitterness.
Lord, help my children to be patient with everyone. Show them that kindness is better than paying back wrong for a wrong (1). May they understand that a patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly (2).
(1) 1 Thessalonians 5:14b-15
(2) Proverbs 14:29