Monday, April 7, 2008

Savoring a Cup of Tea: Fruit of the Spirit (Patience)

To see the other Fruit of the Spirit posts, check the Savoring a Cup of Tea Index in the margin.

Patience is a virtue lacking in our society. We have fast food, drive thru dry cleaners, instant access to customer service and various accounts via the internet, instant movie watching and music listening through streaming online. Therefore, when we have to actually wait for something, we hate it!

I've had to pray for patience much this year. In fact, when we commenced potty training our toddler in the fall, I started praying for all of the fruits of the Spirit! Nothing is more glaring to me when I'm interacting with my toddler than my lack of patience. And yet, as the children's song reminds me, "God is patient, too," and "think of all the times when others have to wait for you."

Patience is something I notice my children lacking, too--it goes right along with the rest of the fruits of the Spirit. In particular, when you aren't patient, it's much harder to be kind, gentle, or exercise self-control. I pray for this fruit daily and am realizing that I need to look for ways to model this to my children. I also need to pray for the Spirit to be working in their lives.

Although this is a fruit of the Spirit, as with the other fruits, we can create an environment more conducive to its growth. Carrie and I were confessing the other day that we'd each yelled at our toddlers to "hurry up" when the fault had really been ours: we'd slept in a little, we were the ones running late, we hadn't left enough time. Planning ahead a wee bit more would foster an environment much more conducive to my toddler's pace and my patience.

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