Monday, July 31, 2017

Patience Matters

Devotional 7 focuses on patience.  This devotional, like the others, is timed for less than 10 minutes, but feel free to slow down if your kids are older or have a longer attention span.  Parents your notes are in italics.  Happy studying!

Patience Matters

To Do: With only two lessons after this, the kids should be very close to having the verses down pat.  If they are ready, encourage to share them their memory work and their favorite lesson with a grandparent or a Sunday School teacher.  Feeling the approval and encouragement of other adult Christians is crucial to a child's continued spiritual development.  Even if the verses are memorized continue to recite them as a reminder.

Questions to Ask:

When do you have to wait?  Answers might include-the bus, when mom is shopping, after church, at the doctor's, and for Christmas. Be sure and help your child identify times when patience is very difficult for them, for instance when a parent is on the phone, when they are waiting on their turn, and when they are tempted to interrupt.

Is it hard to wait?  Why?  Waiting is even harder for kids than it is for adults.  They have less of a sense of the way time passes and little experience with the fact that all waiting eventually comes to a end.  Learning to wait is in part developmental, in part training, and in part a spiritual exercise in patience.

What does it mean to be patient? Is the only time we have to be patient when we wait?  Other examples of extending patience include being patient with a younger sibling/cousin and being patient with peers at play or in class, being patient with adults who sometimes have difficulty understanding or relating. 

Who is patient with you?  Who is impatient?  As parents we are often loathe to ask our kids questions that reflect on our parenting.  Yet from this our children learn that parents are worthy of respect even when they make mistakes and they see how to be humble, repent, and accept correction.  

How is God patient with us? As adults we may understand this complexly but children may confused. Remind them that God is angry when people hurt each other but He waits and gives us a chance to repent.  Another tack would be to remind them of the story of Adam and Eve.  Although they deserved immediate death, God allowed their punishment to be delayed many years so they could establish the human race.


When James calls us all to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, he is illustrating patience (James 1:19). He knows that having this kind of self-control not only over our tongue and ears but over our hearts is the essence of patience. Yet note these verses do not say, "Well, they're just little.  There's nothing you can do.  Kid's will be kids."  Especially in the training of our children, we have to be patient but active.  Listening carefully is crucial, however after we listen we need to discipline.  Considering our words is vital, but we must speak and correct our children.  We should be slow to become angry, yet children need us to pay attention and adjust their behavior so they can grow healthy, happy and strong.

When we consider "patience" as a virtue, we most often ask: Are we patient with our children? Yet our children also observe our patience or lack of patience with others.  For instance how do we drive?  With grace and etiquette or do we shout and snarl at those around us?  How do we wait in line?  What do they see when we are inconvenienced or slowed by those around us?  Our behavior informs their's.

Impatience is a sign not only of a lack of self-control but of self-absorption.  We are impatient because deep inside we believe we are the most important thing going!

Did you miss one? 

The "Why" MattersIdentity MattersCompassion Matters, Kindness Matters, Humility Matters, Gentleness Matters, Patience Matters, Bearing with One Another MattersForgiveness Matters

1 comment:

  1. This is such a important attribute to address, and such a neat way to do it! I don't have any children now, but I have a little one on the way in December, and when she gets older I love this idea to get together and do devotionals!