It’s no secret: Kids test your patience. Sometimes they do it on purpose but most of the times, they don’t. We as adults forget that kids take life at a slower pace. They like to stop and really see, really observe, ask questions, and truly learn. But, like us, they also have to be told things over and over again for it to stick in their minds or become a routine. So, how can we learn to be a more patient mother?
I have lost my patience too many times to count. I’m not proud of it. I’m just honest with it. I get overwhelmed with life, frustrated with the day to day grind, and take my focus off of Christ and put in on self. But, because of this, and I’m still learning, I want to encourage other moms in the ways that the Lord has encouraged me on this journey to be a patient mom.
Understanding God’s Patience with You
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.Psalm 103:8 ESV
The best example we have of a parent-child relationship is that of God our Father with us, His children. The Bible tells us that He is merciful, gracious, slow to anger, and steadfast in His love for us. None of this description would lead us to think that God loses His temper or has a problem with patience.
God has every reason to get upset with us. We literally sin, rebel, disappoint on a daily but, He is always there, ready to forgive, comfort, and remind us of His love. With such a great example, how can I be anything but patient with others when I remember how patient God is with me.
Jesus showed us the Father’s heart of patience while on this earth. He repeatedly explained things to the disciples, forgave their lack of faith, and encouraged them in their fear. He was patient with Thomas’ doubt, Peter’s denial, and Judas’ betrayal. He even showed patience with His enemies as He asked “Father forgive them” as He died on the cross. (Luke 23:34)
Remember Your Purpose
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.1 Timothy 1:16 ESV
Our purpose as Christian mothers is to raise image-bearers of Christ. Adam and Eve were made in the image of God in the garden. When sin entered, it marred the relationship with God. But, through Christ we are reconciled back to the Father. This is our job, to teach our children the commands of Christ, the full counsel of God’s word, and pray for their salvation.
Jesus Christ displayed his perfect patience through trials and unfair treatment to give us an example to follow. We have an ordained purpose as mothers to be patient in all things so that our children might see Jesus in us.
And, ultimately, we want children who have placed their faith and hope in Jesus Christ so that through Him, they might change the world. Don’t let little daily upsets like fussy babies, messy rooms, screaming toddlers, sassy teens, or piles of laundry distract you from your mission.
You, patient mother, will raise some one who makes a difference if you only have faith and focus on what the Bible says is of the utmost importance.
Pray to be a Patient Mom
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV
Never underestimate the power of prayer. God gives good gifts to His children. He will answer your prayer for patience.
It might get hard before it gets easy. Because, we learn through trials. But, every single time that we stop, pray, remain calm, and give it to God, we are growing.
Dear God, I feel sometimes like I have not patience as a parent. Please give me the heart of a patient mom. Forgive me for my lack of patience and for not thinking you can change me in this area. Show me how to be still and pray before I react. Help me to trust that you are working in me even when I fail. Let patience have its perfect work in me so that I might show my children love, self-control, and a mom who wants to be like Jesus. Amen.
Practical Ways to Improve Patience in Parenting
These are some thoughts straight from the scriptures below that will help us as mothers slow down and be sure that our responses and words are patient.
- Be in control. In the middle of chaos, when tempted to lose it, simply walk away. Find a quiet space. Take a deep breath. Don’t engage until you are certain you have control of your emotions.
- Invite the Lord in. Pray. Invite God to intervene in your heart and the heart of your child. Admit you need His help.
- Be slow to speak. Yelling or throwing around accusation before listening first are not going to get the proper response from children.
- Invite your kids near. Anger or impatience don’t exactly give off warm welcoming vibes. Let’s pull our kids close, put our arm around them, and show them that we correct from a place of love.
- Be ready to change. I think that we make the excuse a lot, “its just the way I am.” But, with the Lord’s help, we can change and we can be more patient. We must prepare our hearts and minds to think differently and expect His refining.
- Invite Accountability. Titus 2: 4 NIV says, “…then they (older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children…” Find another mom with experience that you can trust and ask her help, prayers, and accountability. Watch her life and model her patience.
Scriptures on Patience
The Bible has a lot to say on patience. It is one of the fruits of the spirit, ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV) I hope having this arsenal of scriptures to meditate on will help to transform us into a patient mother that pleases the Lord.
- 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. 2 Peter 3:9 NIV
- Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 2:3-4 ESV
- Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Isaiah 30:18 ESV
- But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15 ESV
- A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Proverbs 15:18 ESV
- A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11 ESV
- Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7:8 ESV
- Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12 ESV
- Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2 NIV
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12 ESV
- Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV
Pass along to another Mother who could use some patience in her life.