I’m not a patient parent. I get frustrated easily and sometimes I let my impatience show. The last thing I want to do is make my daughter feel like she is less than enough. I also fear that I will pass the trait of impatience on to her. I would rather show love and acceptance than burden her with my impatience.
Being a mom is hard work, especially when we are trying to juggle it along with all the other demands that are placed on us. Parenting looks different for each of us. I used to work outside the home every day and now I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mom. When I was going out to work, I often thought how relaxing it would be to be at home, how straightforward teaching my daughter would be compared to the high school students I was teaching at that time. I envisioned I would be the perfect Mom, the picture of patience. It turns out that none of that was true. I’m still the same impatient person I have always been.
Even though our circumstances are all different, I know that I am speaking for more than myself when I say that I need to pray for patience. I want to demonstrate patience for my daughter. I know that my impatient attitude often comes from not taking the time I need to slow down and de-stress. One of the best ways I know to do this is to spend time in God’s word.
I have compiled a list of Bible passages that I find helpful when I am feeling impatient. I pray you find them challenging, comforting, and uplifting too.
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1, 2
Sometimes life circumstances make the day difficult, and I allow stress from these outside circumstances to impact how I interact with my daughter. The stress presents itself as impatience. This verse always reminds me that I am not in control, and I don’t need to be. Even when life feels like it is spinning away from me, I need to call out to God and lay my burdens at His feet. Whenever I read this verse, I always come away with a sense of God’s majesty. If He created this incredible universe, surely I can release my comparatively small worries to Him, and rest in His peace. Instead of impatience, I can offer my daughter peace and joy.
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5 (NKJV)
This passage is discussing bearing one another’s burdens. What really impacts me here are the words “patience” and “comfort.” God is always patient with me and He has granted me much comfort, both through the Scriptures and in life circumstances. For me, this verse makes me ask “Am I truly showing my child Christ’s love if I am not pouring patience and comfort into her life?” If I am constantly being impatient with her, she cannot be comfortable. She will always be worrying whether or not she is meeting my expectations. I pray that I can mirror God’s patience and that His love and grace will reflect off of me and onto my child. I want to be a reflection of Him.
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Luke 18:16
Jesus invited the children to come. He told his disciples not to forbid them from coming to Him. When I exhibit an impatient attitude am I preventing my child from seeing Jesus as she should? What kind of a witness am I being? As she grows older, will she want to know more of Christ or will she assume that if my impatient attitude represents what a Christian is, then she wants nothing to do with it? This is something that weighs heavily on my heart when my impatience gets the better of me.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:2,3
I love being outdoors. I live in the Great Lakes region and I grew up enjoying the rivers and lakes in this area. Being out in nature and seeing the wonder of God’s creation does restore my soul. When I read this passage, I picture a lovely pasture full of waving grass, and there is a bubbling, gurgling brook running through it. I can picture the water lazily moving around and over rocks. The sun is warm, the water is cool, and the birds are singing. When I picture myself in this setting, I am at peace. Recently I shared this passage with my daughter and encouraged her to create her own visual space where she can also be at peace, no matter what is going on all around her. Even when I can’t actually spend time outdoors, taking a minute to mentally visit these green pastures helps me relax.
May these verses bless you when, like me, you struggle to balance the stresses of life with grace and patience.
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