If patience is a virtue, my virtue these days is sorely lacking. “Love is patient.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, HCSB) True. I get that. And, I was the epitome of patience when my kids were tiny tots who were learning how to walk, talk, and all that jazz. But once they’d mastered the meaning of “yes” and “no” and just started doing things to spite me, well, my patience peaked.
Don’t get me wrong. My kids are great—typical children who push the boundaries in order to learn about themselves, life, and consequences. And I strive to remain patient and calm with them. I’ve just got three of them the same age, and they pile on in a never-ending crescendo until sometimes this parent’s patience snaps. In truth, I never had a deep well of the stuff to begin with and am envious of the never-ending supply my sister and sister-in-law were gifted with.
This morning’s self-reflection is brought on by the fact that the kiddos are pushing 13 and are hormonal as all get out. Rational thinking took the freeway exit a few miles back. Everything is a melodrama. Speaking in a calm tone of voice is passe. Grace for the other siblings is often non-existent. What happened to my sweet little babies who loved to cuddle with Mommy?
There are days I want to throw up my hands and run away screaming like a mad woman. I wonder if that would get my kids’ attention. Would they think they’ve broken me? Would they be sorry for their horrendous attitudes? Would they even care? Then I think of myself, my siblings, and my childhood friends when we were their age. Hmmmm, perchance I haven’t given my parents enough credit, and I wasn’t the sparkling ball of sunshine I have pictured in my mind’s eye.
The Bible tells us “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22, HCSB) Love I have in spades. Without faith, I would be nothing. My inner peace and goodness come from that faith and love. If I can work on nailing down this patience thing, I think gentleness and self-control will be locked as well.