Patience Is Not
We want to be a culture of encouragement and building up. Whatever the cost.
And the cost is great.
In an effort to display patience and promote love, we have become families and a society lacking discipline. Discipline has turned into a dirty word due to a misunderstanding of the purpose and process of it. Being a patient parent is not having a home lacking in discipline. Being a patient parent is not allowing your children to formulate the rules governing your household. Being a patient parent is not giving chance after chance with zero consequences.
Let us begin with a widely used verse regarding discipline: Proverbs 13:24 which says, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” We discipline our children out of love and to train them in the ways of the Lord. We are patient with our children as they learn and develop, but we guide and direct them in right and wrong. Sometimes this means there are consequences for wrong choices. When we dismiss discipline then we are not patiently guiding our children to adulthood, but rather we are impatient in the slow nature of the training process.
Discipline is not an easy process. Often we do not see immediate results. Wouldn’t it be nice if our children adjusted their decisions after just one correction? Discipline wouldn’t seem like such a dirty word then! However, our children require the opportunity to grow, learn, and make mistakes through childhood. Sometimes this requires seemingly never ending discipline, which is wearisome to the parent. We are reminded “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:25). It is so easy to grow frustrated with our undisciplined children and wonder why they just do not get it yet! But we are gently reminded that discipline is a process that we must patiently endure and believe that God will mold and shape their little hearts.
Disciplining our children will not earn us brownie points as parents. In discipline, our children may label us as “mean” or “angry” or a “bad mommy”. When my four-year-old learned about patience, he would often remind me during discipline, “Mama, you need to have more patience with me!” Children do not understand that “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11). Children do not understand that having patience is not having a lack of discipline. They do not understand that parents discipline their children out of the abundance of their patience with the hopes that the fruits of righteousness will be cultivated in the children’s hearts. Our role as mother isn’t to agree with our children, but to raise our children in the Lord.
Many children today are growing up in homes lacking discipline. We are seeing the effects of this trend with entitlement, lawlessness, and pride. As parents we are called to train our children in the Lord. Our flesh is born into sin and desires sinful habits, but we must walk in discipline and Christlikeness. As parents, we must be patient in discipline as we train up our children in the ways of the Lord. Being a patient parent is guiding our children to the Lord even when we stumble, trip, of backpedal along the way. Being a patient parent is not having a home lacking in discipline.
Patience is not a lack of discipline. We can use the disciplining of our children as an example of God’s discipline over all His children. We may teach our children, “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of His reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12). We can share examples from our own lives of God’s discipline when we made sinful choices and how we experienced consequences. We can explain how discipline is meant to banish sin from our lives to make us more like Jesus. We can admit that sometimes it takes ten, twenty, or one hundred times making the wrong choice before we make the right one, but God is ever patient with us as He continues to correct us for His glory and our own good.