Today we are talking about the fruit of the spirit patience, and patience is something every mom, both Christian and non-Christian tend to struggle with, which is NO surprise it is one of the top things searched about parenting on Google..“How to be a more patient mom?”
Thankfully, God’s Word has something to say to help us be more patient moms…
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First, I will admit to you, very candidly, that this has been the hardest fruit of the spirit for me to cover thus far, because it is probably the one that I struggle with most..
A Few Honest Story Examples of My Own..
When I was telling my husband I was studying on patience, he laughed and said, “For someone who can’t go to the mailbox and back without opening a package first, covering patience may be a challenge!” (Haha..He’s not wrong!)
Then as I was trying to narrow down a topic for Moms covering patience, I was sharing with my own mother about all the things God was teaching me personally as I studied patience, but couldn’t decide on a final topic. My mom said, “Mallory, why don’t you just pray about it?” To which I responded, “I know I should, but I have a deadline to hit, so I don’t have time..” And she said, “Exactly! Time for a little of that patience you’ve been studying!” (True mom..very true!)
So those are funny, but very real and honest stories that I wanted to share with you, because I’m right there with you, struggling to find patience in both motherhood and life in general. And even though those stories are funny, there is also some truth in them…
I’ve really had to study God’s word, search myself and grow in this area of patience over these last few weeks, before writing this blog and recording the podcast.
Something that has helped me..
I have been using a Bible Study called “Walking in the Spirit” from my podcast network hosting ministry, Love Worth Finding. It is a series of devotionals on fruit of the Spirit that has helped me stay focused in my study and growth of patience.
Here is one of my favorite quotes from this study about the world we live in, as it relates to patience:
”We don’t want to wait. We want everything now. We have fast-food restaurants, the express self-checkout lanes, instant coffee, instant oatmeal, microwaves and access to any information we need at our fingertips with touch screen phones. Yet, real life isn’t on the speed track. Sometimes trials cross our paths and stop our momentum. Some of these trials are small irritations; others are life events that leave us confused and questioning. But all of them are things that God uses to help us learn long-suffering.” (Long-suffering is just another word for patience.)“Walking in the Spirit” Bible Study
When I read this, I learned there are really 2 kinds of patience that get tested in our fast paced world:
- First there are Irritations: Which are those small daily struggles and frustrations, like when your child forgets to tell you they have homework until bedtime or your toddler has another potty accident!..Or when you are running late again because something unexpected came up. These irritations and frustrations may be little things, but they can still test our patience and cause our anger to spike quickly!
- Then there are Life events: These are the BIGGER things in your life. Hard situation that come up in your family, like losing a loved one, ongoing money issues, job changes/moving again or it could be health related. Whatever it may be, these are those BIGGER life trials that tend to last longer and require more patience, than just a moment in our day.
And if you are in one of these BIG life events right now, I want to encourage you to ask the Lord specifically to give you extra patience and the wisdom to ask, “Okay Lord, this stinks right now, but what do you want me to learn in this situation I am in?” It won’t be fun in the moment, but God ALWAYS has something to teach us in seasons of long-suffering and patience, that will grow our faith like we don’t even know, until we have walked these roads in our lives.
And if that is you, and you would like some extra prayer, please reach out to me HERE with that request, and I would love the opportunity to pray along side you and for you.
Just as it says in James 1 that, “we will face trials of many kind,” it also says in verses 4 and 5 to “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him.”
Pastor Adrian Rogers said this about patience:
“Patience doesn’t grimly wait for the end. It radiantly waits for the dawn.”
Meaning, God has something to teach you with every little irritation and every BIG life event that you go through, that test your patience. A Negative person throws there hands up in defeat or gives way to anger, but a wise and patient person looks for the lesson and the light at the end of the tunnel, knowing God always has a plan for our good..
Now back to those IRRITATIONS, as we are calling them..
As moms, I know we ALL struggle with the daily irritations, especially with our kiddos that can so easily test our patience!
With that named and claimed, I have 4 takeaways for you today, to help you be more patient with your kids:
(Some of these are Spiritual and some of these are just practical/helpful.)
- Be intentional to take time for yourself to rest or have alone time. For example, if your kids are still at home and it’s nap time, then rest when they rest some days if you need too and don’t feel guilty about it! Other ideas: take a hot shower, read a book or just go to the bathroom by yourself! 🙂 Then, periodically, make plans to get away: have a date with your husband, go to dinner with a friend or take yourself shopping on the weekend for a few hours and leave the kids with their dad or a sitter. When you take time for yourself to rest and have “me-time,”it is easier to be patient with the needs of your kids and others!
- Try to hold your tongue, like it says in James 1:19, “be slow to speak and quick to listen”…because our tongue tends to get us into trouble, when it comes to patience! Proverbs 15:4 says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” We can be so quick to jump on our kids: “You spilled another cup of milk,”..“Why are your shoes muddy again?”..” I can’t believe we are late, AGAIN!” Whereas, there is probably more to the story: like you didn’t screw the cup lid on right correctly, so that is why they spilled the drink..or another child pushed them down, so that is how they got their clothes dirty..or they needed to go to bathroom, so they couldn’t be out the door ready to leave on time. Things like that, that were not done in disobedience, but in the heat of the moment, cause our anger to spike and patience to plummet. So in these moments, if you could hold your tongue—maybe count to 5, pause, take a breath before you speak, you are less likely to respond with a raised voice or irritation. Then you can ask in a calm voice, ”How did this happen? Are you okay?” Just those few seconds can help you compose yourself and find your patience!
- When you get it wrong…because you will and I will…be quick to APOLOGIZE…both to the Lord and to your kids. Obviously, we need to ask the Lord for forgiveness, but also ask for our kids forgiveness too. This will surprise them when you do, in a good way! Say something like, “Mommy is sorry…I need to tell Jesus sorry for that and I also need to tell you sorry for not being patient just now.” That really sets up a level of maturity and awareness, that you realize that you were wrong and not patient. And our kids are naturally not patient…nobody has too teach them to to be impatient, so I think of all the things that you could do to teach them and be an example to them, is make them aware that you KNOW that you were impatient, and that you are apologizing and trying to do better. Then they will realize, “hey, mom is doing this and so when she gets on to me for not being patient, I need to follow her example.”
- Last and most important: Remember, patience is a fruit of the Spirit. So make sure you are bring obedient to stay in God’s Word consistently—preferably each morning—so that you can start your day off right with Jesus time and an attitude adjustment. Out of that, many great fruits will flow from you, including patience—making you less likely to rush or be quick to anger or frustration..and just a BETTER MOM overall!
And to take this last point a step further about getting into your Bible, please check out the podcast or blog in two weeks from today, because I am doing an interview about how to study your Bible better and more consistently.
One other way to get into God’s Word more consistently, that I referenced both today and for the last several podcasts on fruit of the spirit, is a devotional from my hosting ministry, love Worth Finding, called “Walking in the Spirit.” If you would like to see a sample of this study or if you want your own copy of this Bible Study, I will have those links in the show notes.
Please be sure to share this episode with a friend and follow me on Instagram @faithful31moms and remember to keep up the good work of pointing your kid to Jesus!
WANT TO LISTEN INSTEAD OF READ? CHECK OUT THE PODCAST HERE!