Wednesday, January 5

Patience and Gentleness



At one time or another, if you're a mama out and about with a large group of children, and you're not screaming... or yanking them about... and don't look as if your eyeballs are about to pop out - you'll hear something sugary along the lines of "oh, you must be so patient so have so many children" (this follows the question inquiring what daycare you are from). Or perhaps you've heard something similar to: "I could never have ____ children, because I don't have the patience for it", and have wanted to encourage the woman at hand that she can mother children and doesn't have to feel like a helpless or impatient woman. Maybe you've said those words yourself. Either way, I'd like to kindly shine a little light on the subject of patience and gentleness as it applies to mothers.

I strive more in our home, and pray more, for a gentle spirit, rather than a patient one. If I am allowing my child to smack me over and over or tug on my skirt and holler while I'm talking or yank items off the grocery shelf, then I am applying patience in an inappropriate manner. If I'm patiently observing behavior than hurts themselves or others (even in the long run), I'm dosing out the same inappropriate patience. Inappropriate patience runs rampant in our society. Dare I say, especially among parents?
Patience in not losing our tempers and patience for childishness is, as mothers, invaluable. Patience in allowing what will harm (short term or long term), whether because we've bought into the idea that every child deserves an unbridled freedom of expression, or because we simply don't *know* what to do to teach our children, is detrimental.


"Let your gentleness be evident to all," Phil. 4:5

I want to be a mama remembered for being gentle. When applying inappropriate patience and ignoring unruly behavior seems like an easy option (it usually is), I want to be the mother that instead quietly scoops up the child and takes them aside for a talk or appropriate discipline. James 5:8 speaks of being "patient and standing firm", a description I love. Lord, help me to be a mother that stands firm in gentleness and appropriate patience!

24 comments:

Bonnie said...

A hit the nail on the head post, and a timely reminder for myself, on these to cold to go out days.
Thanks for blessing us Mamas!

Esther said...

Beautiful!

Amanda said...

What a, beautifully written and humble post.

Very encouraging.

the three wise menn said...

I have followed you for a bit, and I don't think I have ever commented, but this post was incredible. I wanted to be a momma of a large family, but God gave my husband and I a much different path (that I love).
It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 40 as well about how God gently leads those that have young; it's much easier to gently lead my daughter when I know that I am being gently lead.

Andrea

SJ said...

What a wonderful, inspiring post. I often pray for patience but never thought to pray for gentleness. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Laura Nash said...

Good points to be made. I recently found an excellent (previously aired) show called "17 kids and counting..." (available as an instant watch on Netflix) about a family with 17 kids. I think they have 20 now. Now that is patience. Makes me feel like such a slug for only having raised 4 kids myself.

I am blessed! said...

I'm always working on this one, but never seem to arrive.

Thank you.

Celee

Momma Bug said...

Darling friend!

Well said. And what a noteworthy distinction between the need for patience vs the need for gentle action.

Love to you dear gentle lady!

-Analene

Becky said...

Very well said. I have never thought about patience in that manner. We can definitely have patience for the negative behavior our children sometimes exhibit. Often the Holy Spirit will convict me because of my reaction or lack of due to my children's negative behavior. It is usually at night after I've put the lil ones in bed, when I'm in the bath & He has my undivided attention. I call it God's way of disciplining me for my own behavior. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit. He so gently corrects me when I don't deal with "His children" as I should.
I always pray that the fruit of kindness be evident in my life. Kindess is power under control. What power we have over our children, but how beautiful it is when that power is under control. I also pray that He help me be graceful under pressure. That is God in action. Thank you so much for reminding me about gentleness and giving me a new perspective on patience.

Diane said...

I would definitely agree that you have a lovely and gentle spirit. :O)

Catherine Anne said...

Thank you for this. Once I read, We only act in a way that will allow you and your child to grow together.

Adriane said...

Simply a great post. It is my prayer too that my children will remember me as a gentle mother. I pray for it daily.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Marcia said...

your gentleness in this post is very evident to me. thank you. I have been reading your blog for a time, but finally felt this post tugged at my heart. Thanks!

Sarah said...

This is so well put! I once babysat for a woman, who, when we told a child not to do something whirled around and snapped "I NEVER say "no" to my children!" Not surprised, she had angry, lonely, pporly behaved children, and spent her time trying to escape them while they stayed with babysitters. Your thoughts on gentleness, but not letting bad behaviour slide are beautiful and well put.

Tiffany said...

Beautifully said! I pray every day for the Lord to help me to have a gentle and loving spirit in serving my family, and to help me to lavish love on them. :)

Jessica said...

Expressed perfectly! I couldn't agree anymore with every detail of this post.
This is my first visit here. I can't wait to read more ;)

Lecia said...

This is such an inspiring post and is one I really needed to read.

mosey said...

This is a day that has been full of the need for "gentleness" I am thankful I happened upon your blog today because post has quite encouraged me to stay the course!
Thank you

Aiming4Simple said...

When I continue to show inappropriate patience, it is not sustainable. Eventually, I do get exasperated! How much better to intervene gently. Thank you for these admonitions.

Amy Lynne said...

Lovely words! I too long for patience and the strength to correct my children and my students appropriately everyday. Thanks for the reminder!

~Babychaser~ said...

Never been here before... followed a link from Frugal Granola, but thank you for this post. I'm looking forward to looking around some more when I have time (maybe next time I'm nursing).

I've been struggling with (and therefore posting about) anger recently. Struggling with it as it pertains with my 3 little ones and I hate it. I've been taking the approach that "anger is not an option" which is great... but I love your take on focusing on having a gentle spirit. So much better to work on being gentle (a "put on" thing) rather than just working on not being angry (a "put off" thing).

Thanks!

The Mrs said...

Such a great post that every mom could be reminded of. God deals with His children failing Him on an hourly basis as we mothers do but to respond in a way that is God-like and not flesh-like can be very difficult but oh so God honoring and never regretful. Those times when the tea pot is all steamed up and everyone hears momma shout are the times we act least like our God-purposed selves. Thankfully children have opportunities to practice grace and forgiveness just as we adults should be humble enough to ask for it, even from the tiniest of God's people.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for this. Beautiful.

clare Ansah said...

Thank U for your clarity, sometimes its very hard to put into words what U feel in your Spirit!... Am also praying for a gentle heart!