I think the most common verses about love are 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. These verses go into what characteristics are shown in loving someone. I want to dive into each of these characteristics and see how they can help us, to be the best Wife, Mom, Teacher and Daughter of Christ we can be. On the list for today is Patience.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a NIV
As a Mom of 3 very active boys, I feel like I often am thinking about patience. I feel like I never seem to have enough. I can tell you that having patience is a struggle some days. When we visit other family I am often told that I do show lots patience with my boys. It really is a great thing that others can see it in me. However, I want to be a better wife, mother, Teacher and daughter of Christ, even when others can’t see me. To do that I need to practice patience more and more each day.
Here is a funny story that you just might relate to, from when I was a child. I was in Girl Scouts as a child and remember vividly being awarded a Patience award during one of the ceremonies we had. A big bag of candy, as my award, made my day. After growing up, my Mom and I talked about that day and she explained how I just was so hyper during the meetings, that they needed to come up with something to help me focus. The leaders and my parents decided to have me work on an imaginary badge, the patience badge. Being an ADHD kid without medicine back then was a huge challenge, as it can be now. Then add to it, being asked to focus and have patience when all I wanted to do was run around and have fun. Turns out I really did work on it that year and was awarded that bag of candy as proof.
Having these characteristics doesn’t always come naturally and that is okay, as long as we recognize that, and work on them. Now I am not suggesting that everyone be given an incentive of candy to inspire change. What I am saying is that change is possible. Not only possible, but necessary if we are wanting to show love to those we care about. So how can we work on having patience with those we care about, especially when they may not be acting so nice to us.
What has caused you to become inpatient?
- Disorganization at home?
- The kids arguing?
- Your schedule being thrown off?
- Are you PMSing?
- Do you need to eat?
- Are you waiting in line for what seems like way too long for an appointment?
Knowing what is triggering your lack of patience helps you to focus on fixing the problem, rather than just following along with your emotions.
Think through the Solutions
- If your home being disorganized is your cause of impatience, than maybe it is time to pause whatever you are doing and spend some time cleaning.
- If the kids are arguing, split them up and give them some tasks to keep them busy, while you calm down.
- If your schedule is being thrown off, take a break to regroup. What are the 3 main priorities for the rest of the day? If anything else is on the schedule that doesn’t fit into those priorities, set them aside for the day. It’s okay, you can get to those things tomorrow. Sometimes just focusing on the main priorities is enough for us to get our patience back under control.
- If you are PMSing, can you tell someone who can help you out the next couple of days? Maybe your spouse? Just like if the reason is your schedule being thrown off, stick to the 3 main priorities for the day.
- If you haven’t eaten in a while, grab a snack or eat that missed lunch. Sometimes just having our sugar balance out of whack can cause us to be more impatient.
- If you are waiting for an appointment and it is taking forever to be called in, pull out your phone and start planning. Clean out your purse, clean out your email inbox, write out your to-do list, make your weekly menu, and if you have already done all that, then honestly, you probably should go up to the counter and find out what is taking so long. They may have forgotten about you. The key is to keep busy with things that aren’t just busy work, but things that you would need to do anyway. Then you will have taken care of “two or three birds with one stone”. Then when you are called back, you will feel accomplished instead of impatient.
Being able to identify the reasons and think through the solutions to our triggers are two of the main keys to helping you grow your patience. The number one thing, the most important thing, you need to do is to pray. Yes, pray for patience. God knows what you need and wants you to be the best Wife, Mom, Teacher and Daughter you can be. If you ask him for his help, he will help you, and Matthew 7:7 says just that.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7 NIV
What is your biggest struggle with patience? Comment below so we all can be praying for each other.