Patience is a virtue - but it’s not always an easy one. In a world of same-day shipping, instant downloads, and binge-watching, it’s not hard to see why our society is dialed into getting what we want fast - and why patience can take a back seat when it comes to our values. As a parent, you’d love to find opportunities to help your kid or student practice patience. But one of the easiest ways for your student to see the value in patience is to have it modeled for them in their own home - by you!
Below you’ll find 3 ways that you can model everyday patience at home.
1. Take Yourself Off the Throne
If your student engaged with us in the past, they heard loud and clear that impatience stems from believing that we are the center of the universe - in turn, taking God off the throne and putting ourselves on it instead. We do this every day when we honk at slow drivers and complain about the slow service at restaurants. But the truth is that God is at the center of everything, and when we believe that, we can start to view the world not by what it can do for us, but by what we can do to show glory to God.
The biggest part of modeling this step is a perspective shift - and when your student sees you change your earthly perspective on the little things, it will help them see that keeping God on the throne allows us all to be kinder, less stressed, and more patient with one another.
2. Bring Your Battles to God First
We all know that there are times when impatience is warranted and we want to take justice into our own hands. In Psalm 27 David was fighting against a real enemy in a real battle, and he had every logical reason to experience impatience. But David also knew that the brave and courageous thing to do in the midst of a real battle is wait for the Lord and bring our battles to him first.
After shifting our perspective to putting Jesus on the throne, we can model patience to our students by choosing to bring the battles that we do face to God - and wait for him to direct our path. That means when you’re facing a job loss, struggling with financial stress, or doing your best to repair a broken relationship - and it’s all taking a toll on your patience in the waiting - make a point of giving those battles to God, and share that decision with your family. You may be surprised at how it helps you feel more peace, too.
3. Spend Time in Solitude
When we’re experiencing a surge of impatience, it’s easy to become angry, irritable, and bitter - we’ve all experienced a moment where we snap at our friends, family, or even our kids in a moment of extreme stress. One way to keep our hearts centered on what’s most important is to set aside time to spend in solitude with God. Even when we aren’t necessarily experiencing a situation that’s testing our patience, having times of solitude in place in the middle of our daily lives can keep moments of extreme impatience few and far between.
These times of solitude don’t have to be hours and hours long (as a parent, your schedule is always unpredictable!) but allow it to be a space in your day and week where you give God your undivided attention and can remember what’s true - that he is in control, that you need him, and that you can trust him with everything. This can be in prayer, while going through a Bible Reading Plan, or just a few minutes of quiet where you focus your mind on God. One of the best side effects of spending intentional time in solitude with God is that your student will see you and see how this time with God affects you and your patience, and it may even encourage them to be more intentional about their own times of solitude.
For more great resources for your student and how they can get involved, visit LCBCchurch.com/Students.