What does that word do to your feelings?
What comes to mind when you think about your kids or other kids?
Pall Tripp once said that "Parenting is hard, but there are few things in life that rise to this level of importance. God has chosen parents to be primary instruments in the shaping of a human soul."
There is a lot on the line when it comes to how we interact, treat, care for and speak to our children. As a church we are working our way through Ephesians 5-6 and the charges Paul gives to the Church on family. This last week we camped out on parenting as Pastor Ed unpacked what it looks like to "not provoke your children to anger but, rather, to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord".
If you are a parent you know the challenges of raising your children both with love and boundaries. Some of us lean more toward one than the other. You may be the loving kind of parent that wants to make sure your kids know you are there friend - so you might not follow all the way through with discipline. Others of you may be the discipline kind of parent that wants to make sure your kids know you are the authority - so you might do a good job at setting rules but not such a good job being gentle and patient. I lean towards the latter - which makes my patience run very thin when my 3 year old doesn't follow through with everything I ask her to do (hmmmm...wonder if that is normal?).
It would be easier if Pastor Ed closed the sermon with - "BE PATIENT, BE PATIENT, BE PATIENT!" I mean - I'm sure this is something we can all use more of in regards to parenting our little ones. It wouldn't haven't been out of line or unecesssary. But, instead of shouting the command over and over again - he whispered something far more powerful and convincing...
God's PATIENCE with us.
You see, that is the only way we will ever grow more effective in loving, caring, disciplining and instructing our kids. The only hope for being patient with our little ones comes from us being captivated and convinced, over and over again, of God's overwhelming and incalculable patience towards us - a patience that continues to this day and hour!
"The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being PATIENT toward you, because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)
God is Patient, God is Patient, God is Patient...with you.
So may we, out of that overflow, be patient with our kids!