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{November 17, 2012}   Long-suffering

I just finished Dr. Tim Kimmel’s book entitled “Grace-Based Parenting” and if I’ve learned anything from it, I’ve learned I need to show more grace in my life.  Grace-based parenting, in short, is parenting our children in the same way God parents us.  That is lots and lots of grace.  God allows us to be individual, to make mistakes, to be honest with Him even if He’s the one we are angry with.  He corrects out of love, addressing the heart rather than disciplining out of anger with our behavior.

If I am to parent as God parents me, I need to be so much more like Him.

What I need most is patience.  I think that attribute really takes care of the other flaws in myself I would consider: quick to anger/irritation and selfishness.  My favorite translations use the word “long-suffering” which I feel is more appropriate.  That is part of the definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13.  Being patient with others is to love them.  Long-suffering makes sense to me in that to be patient with someone else is to sacrifice something you want, and I would say that causes a bit of suffering, although a self-centered kind.  For me, being patient can mean two things.

1. Not finishing something I’ve started so I can listen to my son or address a need or correction.  I really hate starting something and not being able to work it through to the finish.  Interruptions kinda drive me nuts.

2. Not fighting to prove my point in effort to salvage my pride.  I tend to be a very bad listener when I do this.  James 1:19 would be a great verse to remember.

Doing something about my  lack of patience scares me.  It seems insurmountable because I have probably been self-centered my whole life.  And there is so much at stake…

But living in Christ I will not fall, although I stumble.  Walking along side Him, I will become more like Him, although never perfect.  And it is because His grace is sufficient.


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