Welcome to Project C13 Mom! Each week we are going to break down a character trait of love. We will look at God’s definition of the trait and how to become more like Him. We will discuss common situations to walk out this aspect of love and will come up with practical ways to become more Christ-like. Our goal is to love our children with a complete love that will bring them into the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I would love for you to join me on this journey! **I will be sending extra emails to those who want to join Project C13 to help encourage you on this journey. If you would like to receive these emails, let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a new email by clicking on Contact Us tab. (Even if you are already an email subscriber you still need to let me know!!)**
Today’s Character Trait: Patience
To understand each of love’s character traits we will begin by looking at our Heavenly Father’s perfect example. 1 Corinthians 13:4 starts with two very positive expressions of love: Patience and Kindness.
The Greek definition of the word patience is… (found using www.studylight.org)
Patient: to be of long spirit, not to lose heart. To persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles. To be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others. To be mild and slow in avenging. To be long-suffering, slow to anger and slow to punish.
Wow, let’s just wait a minute! Take the time to let it sink in. Reread the definition if needed. Being patient entails knowing that you will do hard things, you will be hurt, but having the ability to be brave enough to remain calm and not retaliate. I am to the point where I do understand that I can be offended or hurt by my kids, but not quite to the point where I don’t become angry and want to punish them. Where are you on the spectrum?
Let’s break it down.
First, we need to come to the realization that motherhood is not easy but actually really hard and actually quite unpredictable. I will encounter things that I didn’t think I would have to face, and I will deal with the same things more often than I ever could imagine.
For me, coming to this realization has helped ease my burden. When you know something will take a lot of work, you plan and prepare for the battle instead of letting it blindside you. I was reminded recently of the fact that sometimes it takes adults years to conquer a sin or change their way of doing things. It also takes an adult 21 days to create or break a habit. If we allow that amount of time to change ourselves, don’t you think we should at least allow that same amount of time for our children to change? So don’t lose heart yet, don’t give up! Continue to guide and direct your children in a patient way. Yes, you might have to say it 20 more times, but each time gets them closer to forming a godly habit that will last a lifetime.
Second, we have to realize that motherhood gives us many opportunities to get offended. Have you ever been in the grocery store and had one of your kids display the tantrum to end all tantrums? I know there have been times when I have completely lost my patience in this exact situation. All of my regular parenting tactics would be left in aisle 9 and I would either threaten, talk rudely or bribe them with something to get them to stop. I would then scan the crowd and wonder what people were thinking. Did they see? How would they judge my performance? I would feel like I would need to justify my child’s actions or my own to those around me. Then I would move on to another set of feelings. I would think, “How could they do this to me? Haven’t I done enough for them? Look at all that I provide for them, and this is how they repay me?” In this moment if I entertain these thoughts, it can lead down a dark and scary road.
Satan so badly wants us to become offended by our children, our husbands, our friends, our church…really by anyone that is around us. If we allow an offense in, it can lead to feelings of betrayal which will eventually turn into hatred. But wait, let’s not even go there! Let’s take a lesson from our Father. He is confident in who He is and His confidence is not affected by His children’s (our own) mistakes or sins. When we sin, His feeling of worth are not changed. In the same way then, when our children lose a battle with their flesh, we also need to not take it personally. Don’t let it affect your own self-esteem or negatively affect your feelings of worth as a mom. We have to remember that they are human, they WILL make mistakes. They will make foolish decisions and sometimes it will happen at the most inopportune times. This is not necessarily a direct indication of your parenting skills. Even when we are consistent with our discipline and clear with our expectations, they will sometimes choose the wrong option. Instead of getting offended, start training your mind to act with patience as you explain to them what they did wrong, what the consequences of their action will be and what you expect them to do next time.
Lastly, we have to be brave enough to trust that a calm, patient attitude is a much better choice than an angry, forceful, vengeful attitude. Proverbs 14:29, 15:18 and 16:32 contrast the difference between being patient and being angry. Remind yourself of how patient, understanding and forgiving your heavenly Father is with you. When you fully grasp what He is doing for you each and everyday, you will want to extend that grace and patience to your own children.
Remember that our goal is to turn their hearts to God. Follow Jesus’ example: Romans 2:4 (NLT) Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Honored to do life with you!
Each week I will give you a small assignment. This is not to be burdensome but to help aid you in forming good habits. If you take this seriously and work hard at it, you will start to see changes in your parenting. I encourage you to start a journal that will be devoted to Project C13 Mom. Do your homework assignments in this journal. Write down what God is revealing to you. And keep a record of the changes you see in you and your kids; you will need this to refer back to on bad days!
Week 1 Assignment:
1.) Download and read the Memory Verse PDF. Pick one Scripture that ministers to you and begin to memorize it this week. The more Scripture that you can get into your mind and soul the deeper the foundation you have to pull from in those moments of choice.
2.) Write down times when you feel like you have lost your patience or feel tempted to lose it. Next week we will talk about what to do with this list.
Remember that if you want to get the additional emails please let me know by making a comment below or emailing me through the Contact Us tab. (Even if you are already an email subscriber-you still need to let me know!)