Being a parent isn’t easy, nor is living with any other human being. Other people, and especially children, will try our patience every day. Patience is a daily struggle for me. How many times a day do I find socks on the floor, or toys where they don’t belong? How many times do I have to ask for something simple to be done, like throwing trash in the trash can?
I can’t count how many times I’ve stood in my kitchen, hands on my hips, looking just like my mother, mustering up all the volume I could in my voice, and then the still, small voice reminds me:
A hot tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger calms a dispute. Proverbs 15:18
Sometimes I yell anyway, and when I do it doesn’t turn out so well. You see, nothing I say is as powerful as the example I set. When I show patience with my son, my husband, even with my dogs, someone is always watching, and that someone is usually my son. My hope for him is that he will grow up to be a man who loves the Lord and lives through Christ. I can hope all I want, and I know God will get him there, but the best way to get him there is to show him.
When my hands go to my hips, perhaps it is best to remember this:
The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
Ouch. You mean it’s pride that makes me want to lash out? Surely that wasn’t meant for me. But yes, my pride gets in the way more than just about anything. What I have learned is that patience will always win, as long as I listen to God’s voice. It will win when I choose to slowly remove my hands from my hips and the volume from my voice. It will win when I return to the center of my heart where He sits, waiting to guide my words and actions – as long as I allow him to.
About the Writer:
Wendy is a wife and mother who works full time in Risk Management. Here at First Dallas she serves in Sunday school, helps coordinate Angel tree, and teaches at Discipleship University. Her greatest joy comes from discovering how following Jesus can greatly impact her daily life and the lives of those she cares about in innumerable, practical ways.