Before I even begin, I have to tell you, dear reader, this post almost didn’t get published. As soon as I made my outline and began writing, the enemy and my own flesh did a pretty good job of telling me I wasn’t worthy to post on this topic. Because patience is hard. And I blew it last weekend.
But as I thought and prayed about it, I realized the truths in this post are still true. They are still at least part of the answer for overcoming impatience. So with fear and trembling I give you this post, Mamas, knowing I certainly don’t have it all together. But I do know Who to turn to for the answer.
And if you’re willing to let another flawed human give you a little point toward some of the help I’ve found, I’d like to give it a try. How ’bout it?
Our Little Blessings Are Annoying Sometimes
Did I just put that in print? Well… I did, and if I had to guess, you probably secretly agree. I know you love your babies, and I love mine. These children are absolute gifts from the Lord that we wouldn’t trade for anything.
But I don’t think I’d be the first to admit that mine frequently drive me crazy. Maybe it’s the fussiness when I want some quiet. Or the neediness when I want a minute to myself.
If I’m not careful, I find myself frustrated and annoyed by these little gifts from the Lord. And I’m sad to say that sometimes my impatience turns ugly – a loud voice, an angry face, harsh words.
And uh… I hate that that’s me sometimes. These are the little people I’m called to mother. God ordained for me to take care of them and love them. And here I am impatient and sinning against them. Can you relate? Here are some ways I’m learning patience.
3 Ways I’m Learning to be More Patient with my Kids
1. Desire It.
The first step toward growing in patience is to actually want it. For me, this motivation came from 2 places:
~I was tired of myself.
I have a vision in my mind of the kind of mom I’d like my kids to have and the kind of home I want my kids to experience. And I wasn’t living up to this.Patient, loving, warm, tons of hugs, soft words, a place saturated with forgiveness… This is the kind of home I want my boys to grow up in and to pass on to their kids. Why should I let my own sinfulness deter something so beautiful? Sin doesn’t have to win. It feels like it does, but that’s a lie. In Christ, there is power to overcome sin. He has won that by His resurrection.
~I want to live up to God’s holiness.
I forget which song we were singing during worship recently, but the image of the throne room in heaven came to mind. The holiness that God the Father, Son and Spirit possess was overwhelming to me. I thought to myself as I sang, I want to be a part of this holiness. I want to enter in to this fellowship. God, I want to sin less so I can be more a part of You.
Being a better mother who is more holy became the catalyst for change in my heart.
2.Reliance on the Holy Spirit
Patience is not something we can work up on our own. Naturally, we are quite selfish and want things our way on our time table. I think that’s really the heart of my impatience. I want it my way, and I’m annoyed when I don’t get it. James 4 talks about how we usually respond when we don’t get what we want. (It’s not good.)The Bible says we gain patience as an overflow of walking in the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit, you must intentionally turn your heart to God at times when you would normally keep your mindset on the circumstances or yourself.
For example, when my boys are being noisy for no apparent reason at all, my natural instinct is to not even think about God and quickly react in the flesh. But in that moment, instead of simply reacting, I must train my heart to turn toward the Lord. God, I want to lean on you in this moment. I want to mother by Your power, not my own. Help me respond lovingly and patiently to my boys. I believe You can change me by the power of Your Spirit.This takes practice, friends. But God can begin to redeem those moments that are usually fraught with sin. And wouldn’t that be great? Redemption right there in your living room as He transforms your thinking and your heart over time. Nothing is impossible for Him. Do you believe it’s real for you?
3.Pray all day.
I’m learning to begin praying before I get out of bed in the morning. Again, this is so unnatural to me. My given attitude in the morning about waking up is usually not pleasant.But through prayer, I’m seeing that God wants to redeem my negative attitude. We can begin praying first thing (AND BELIEVING) that He will empower us to love our kids and husbands, and be used for Him that day.
On days I take Jude to school, I pray out loud for him on the way. When I pick him up, I ask God to give me a love for him that is beyond my natural ability. In the afternoon when the boys aren’t playing well together, I pray for wisdom and grace to love patiently. By the evening, I am usually so tired, I haven’t yet mastered prayer! But I’m working on it, and I hope you will too!His grace is sufficient for you, friend. His power is made perfect in your weakness. Lean into Him and believe it’s real FOR YOU.