I am the father of a 5 and 3 year old so I feel very qualified to write on today’s subject. I love my kids more than anything and would do anything for them! But sometimes I feel like they actually need me to do everything for them. Kids can be a drain on our energy simply because they are dependent upon us as their parents for so many different things. This can result in a real struggle when it comes to having patience with our kids.
“Love is patient” — Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:4a
Our kids need our love and one of the biggest ways they need expression of this love is through our patience with them. They need us to be “slow to anger” and “long suffering.” They need us to give them time and attention. After a long work day in which dozens of others have needed patience our children can often receive the “short end of the stick” when it comes to offering them some.
Patience is to give someone space, autonomy and encouragement to live their life while not being angry with them when they choose a way of living we would not. Of course, we are guiding and shaping our kids so that they might have Christlike character; they don’t get to make all of the choices for how they will live their life! But even in the midst of our guidance we can demonstrate patience by what we do and refrain from doing while guiding them. We should never crush their spirit, wound their heart or rob them of their confidence. We should encourage, support and bless even in those tough moments when showing them the error of their ways.
KIDS NEED PATIENCE
Kids need to know they are smart, capable and responsible. They should know they are gaining wisdom so they might make good choices as they move into adulthood. I often tell my children that I am training them to be a good man and woman. They know there is purpose in all that their mother and I do as parents. We always try to make sure they know the confidence we have in their ability to learn and make good choices. I am convinced such positive reinforcement is a large part of what constitutes patience with regard to kids.
It is easy to be short, angry and rude when tired and dealing with a child who is “pushing the limits” or “testing the waters” with his or her bad behavior. But if we respond from a tired mind and weary body we fail to love our kids in one of the greatest ways they need to see our love…patience.
“God please help us to be patient with our kids this week. May we never say anything which would wound or crush their heart. May we never rob them of confidence. May we always build up and encourage our children as we point them toward Christ. In Jesus name, amen.”
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