Lord, Give Me Patience
Bev Dracos

So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good.
At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Galatians 6:9

A young mom prays for patience as she struggles to deal with her little ones who are strong willed, impetuous, and demanding of attention. Did I forget to mention the patience required to handle coloring on walls and furniture, spilling drinks, and major mess making?

Moms of older kids pray for patience as they enforce the family rules, cringe at the first eye roll, or serve as referee to squabbling siblings. Boredom battles, anyone?

Moms of tweens and teens pray for patience as they attempt to decipher all the hormonal impulses running through the home, deal with drama (real and imagined), address the challenges of boundary breaking, and graciously accept the award of “meanest mom in the world”.

Patience can be in short supply. When patience ends, frustration and anger can grab hold. When our buttons are being pushed, our thoughts can take us in a downward spiral that doesn’t turn out well.

Thoughts, behavior, and feelings are all connected. If we want to change how we feel (aggravated, overwhelmed, frustrated) or how we behave (yelling, withdrawing) we need only change our thoughts. Take a deep breath, reframe the situation, and do what we can to shift from negative to positive. Refocus on gratitude. Step away from the fray and write down 3 things to be grateful for…it just might short circuit our impatience.

Identify Our Triggers

At our house, when the kids were young the hour before dinner was lovingly referred to as the “animal hour”. When hunger came on the scene, and I was scurrying to prepare dinner my three would be at their absolute worst. It took planning and strategy to quiet the beasts, but a little extra effort made the “animal hour” happy again.

If we are less patient when we don’t get enough sleep, we need to make sleep a priority. (Easy to say…aren’t all moms sleep deprived?). Brainstorm solutions. Often a brief walk outside, a few moments of prayer and meditation or some deep breathing exercises can refresh us when we are tired.

If a bit of “me time” would help, don’t be hesitant to ask someone to provide some respite time. Asking for help is not a sign of being a bad mom. It simply means one is human.

If stress and anxiety are taking a serious toll, getting some help from a counselor or psychologist may be the next important step to stopping a spiral of negative thoughts and behaviors.

Put Things in Perspective

Whatever stage our children are in… it will not last forever. As many have said throughout the years, “This too shall pass.”

Turn to the Scriptures and Pray

Ephesians 4:1-2

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.

Lord, I know you have called us to walk with patience. Help me be patient with my children.

Proverbs 15:1    

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Lord, I ask for your gentleness to pour through me, so I do not speak harshly to my children.

1 Peter 3:4

Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

Lord, how I do desire to have a gentle and quiet spirit and be found precious in your sight.

Lord, give me patience!

Let’s talk about it…

  • Can you identify a circumstance that seems to drain your patience?
  • Are there strategies that you can put in place to minimize the stressors?
  • What is your “go to” method of getting back to calm if your thoughts begin a downward spiral?
  • Do you have a scripture verse that helps you develop more patience?