Archive for the ‘Patience’ Category
But there is a problem when we are talking. We aren’t listening. Perhaps you have heard it said, “God gave you two ears and one mouth so you would listen twice as much as you talk.” While I’ve not been able to find that in the Bible, God’s Word does say:
Take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
– James 1:19
I don’t think it is a coincidence that anger is included in this verse. Often our talking can lead to anger, if our talking is lecturing or correcting. If you must talk, start with a question. If your child doesn’t immediately answer, don’t assume they don’t have an answer. It may be that they have learned that if they don’t answer, you’ll start speaking. Instead, allow that awkward silence to linger. It will be as uncomfortable to them as it is for you. If you don’t fill it, they will! Keep asking questions.
Listen some more.
And then listen a little bit more.
In time, you may be asked a question. Keep your answers short, and they will be more likely to remember the wise and amazing things you have to say. If you really want to share something, ask if you can share something with them. Gaining permission will increase their listening.
Bottom line – listening leads to learning, and we need to learn as much as we can about our kids if we are to help them learn and grow and mature.
You’ll also keep your foot out of your mouth by starting with listening. Perhaps that is why the Bible wisely says,
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.
– Proverbs 17:28
So the next time you are about to wax eloquent, resist. And see what you can learn by listening instead.
“Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet.”
“God give me patience, but give it to me NOW!”
“I’m so efficient, I can watch 60-Minutes in a half hour!”
As men, we are in such a hurry. In fact, we’ve gotten so good at it – sometimes we have forgotten why we were in a hurry in the first place! Believe it or not, there are some days – whole weeks even – where there isn’t truly anything urgent, but we just feel urgency because we’ve conditioned ourselves that way! It’s become our default mode.
Don’t get me wrong – there are times we need to get it in gear! There are deadlines. Stress will never be eliminated. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent state of mind, and it CAN be set aside.
AND IT MUST BE when we are with our kids.
- Your child can sense when you are rushed.
- Your child can tell if you’d rather be elsewhere.
- Your child knows if something is more important than him.
- Your child senses if you are wanting to get away from her.
Our impatience is a sign that we have lost sight of what truly matters – of what will last – of what we will miss someday. And of unrealistic expectations on our children. The Bible says:
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
– Proverbs 14:29
We are foolish when we are impatient with our kids, because we display a lack of understanding for what they are capable of – but worse, we drive a wedge in our relationship with them. When we are patient we create the opportunity to invest in the relationship by to deepening their love for us. Why? When we are relaxed and more concerned about them than the clock, we show that they are important to us and have value.
As men we want to be STRONG! But too often, we think that strength is best shown in taking charge and getting our kids to hurry up. The truth is, that strength may be better shown in sitting down and being patient. Consider the words of a great King who once penned these words:
Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.
– Proverbs 16:32
So the next time your kids are driving you nuts and you think you are about to lose it, sit down and be patient. Be that calm, quiet, patient warrior and realize – all too soon the house will be quiet, and the patience you will be working on, is waiting for them to come visit you and bring the grandchildren.
So sit down and watch them and enjoy. A patient dad will enjoy the sights and sounds of childhood, before they are gone.