Saturday, August 24, 2013

Parenting Your Spirited Child: Patience



 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, 
and a soft tongue can break bones.
Proverbs 25:15

“Raise your words, not voice. 
It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” 
~Rumi
These are words I have posted in our kitchen. I am learning to be patient and watch the tone of my voice more than ever before in my 36 years of life. Having children forces this on us. I have always been complimented on my level of patience, but I always argue that compliment. I may look patient on the outside, but my inner patience is far from perfect. It is tainted with a lot of dark anger within me. Anger and patience don't mix. This is a virtue I have to work on every.single.day. Having a spirited child has magnified this weakness in me. I am learning so much.

A friend once told me "NEVER pray for patience because God will place you in situations to test it." This is a bit of a tongue and cheek saying, but there is some truth to it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23  Patience is a virtue and it grows with practice and it needs to be cultivated.:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8 

If anything is excellent (the virtue of patience is excellent) or praiseworthy, think about such things. Patience is something amazing to work towards. I must think about and work towards patience more. It is excellent and praiseworthy.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. James 1:2-8  

The testing of faith produces patience. How could it not? It's hard work. Let patience have its perfect work.

Patience is a fruit of the spirit, that is cultivated from a well-pruned vine. It takes discipline. Discipline comes from practice. A lot of practice. Practice is hard work, but it is well worth cultivating because it helps us become more complete and lack nothing. So, yes, we need to pray for patience, but also for all of the fruits of the spirit to become manifest in our lives.

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