The Gift of Patience
When you first bring your child home from the hospital you feel a mixture of emotions. Elation, joy, and contentment mold together with fear, doubt, and inadequacy. This is a whole new world and we feel like there is little room for mistakes or our children will grow up to be worthless heathens. But the good news is that the Lord is gracious and gives mothers the wonderful gift of patience as we endeavor to grow as mothers alongside our growing babies.
The Creator of the universe intimately knows His creation. He knows your strengths and weaknesses and He so graciously offers you patience in the process of parenthood. God demonstrates His patience to mothers through the nourishment of His Word, the equipment of His workers, and the forgiveness of children. By providing opportunity for mothers to practice patience and by teaching our own children patience, we are able to see how God demonstrates His patience towards us.
God demonstrates His patience to mothers through the nourishment of His Word. Peter reminds the church, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:2-3). As we grow in Christ and learn more of who He is through studying His Word, we grow more Christlike and are better able to reflect His character in our homes. In regards to His followers, Jesus prayed to His Father God, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17). As we grow in motherhood, we must also be sure we are growing in our knowledge of the Word of God. This is how we are sanctified and stripped of ourselves until Christ can be seen within us. God is ever patient with us as motherhood shows us new aspects of our parent-child relationship with Himself. He desires for His children to know Him intimately and He provides the nourishment of His Word to sustain us.
God demonstrates His patience to mothers through the equipment of His workers. Where God leads, He equips and where He guides, He provides (paraphrased from Dr. Jeff Burris, First Baptist Church St. Bethlehem). Every mother (whether biological, adoptive, foster, or spiritual) is appointed by God and He will equip each one to accomplish her calling. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Nothing takes God by surprise, including women becoming mothers and the difficulties of child-rearing. He knows where you will thrive and where you will struggle to survive and He has already equipped you in those areas to fulfill your calling. In Philippians 1:6, Paul assures us, “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” While we will never be perfect in our earthly bodies, we are a new creation in Christ and He is renewing us day by day. Each day is an opportunity to allow Christ to live in us so that He will be glorified. While we walk the path of parenthood, we know that God equips His workers and that surely includes parents in the process of raising little disciples.
God demonstrates His patience to mothers through the forgiveness of children. I am so humbled by the readily available forgiveness of my children. When I cut their little fingers along with their fingernails, they are quick to forgive. When I bang their heads on the doorframe as I place them in their car seats, they are quick to forgive. When I misread a situation and am swift to offer unjust punishment, they are quick to forgive. When I am lacking and I feel like a failure as a mother, they are quick to forgive and offer their reassuring hugs, kisses, and words of affirmation. Children are quick to forgive and this is such a great mercy as we grow and learn what it means to be a mother. In the early years, we stumble around parenthood just as our toddlers stumble around the living room while learning to operate their legs. We may make mistakes and we definitely do not have all the answers, but our children are quick to forgive and to offer unconditional love. God showcases His patience towards mothers through the forgiving spirits of our children as we grow and learn as parents.
Rest in the patient hands of our Heavenly Father. Seek to know Him more through His Word. Praise Him for intimately knowing your needs and equipping you to fulfill your calling. Thank Him for the gift of forgiveness through your children as you grow. When you begin to feel overwhelmed or like a parenting lost cause, remember Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” The Lord is patient and desires your good for His own glory. As we journey through parenthood, we can have complete trust in God’s guidance and provision over our parenting and our children.