We often hear “The Love Chapter” at weddings or near Valentine’s Day and it’s focused on
romantic relationships. It is actually a pretty awesome checklist for self-reflection in parenting,
so this month, we’ll focus on part of what love looks like practically.
Love is patient. Patience has been defined as “calmly waiting without complaining.” I see this
as my children being asked to get ready to go on errands with me, quickly putting on their
jackets and shoes and quietly reading while they wait for me to grab my things. Incidentally,
there are strings playing in the background and sunlight shining on their perfectly cleaned
faces. Let’s turn the camera onto ourselves now. Have you ever heard yourself say, “Hurry!
Keep moving. You are making me late!”? What about, “Are you kidding me?” when your little
one is still sitting on the floor with no shoes and socks on after fifteen minutes? Getting ready
is simply part of training our children. How we respond and react to their speed is how they
will respond and react to others. Now, disobedience is not ok. If you have given your child a
directive and it was blatantly disregarded in favor of a few more minutes playing or snoozing,
consequences are part of the training process. Our attitude, though, is part of how we show
them we love them no matter what all the time… calmly waiting.
Love is kind. Friends, kind is NOT nice. Nice is telling people what they want to hear with a
plastered smile and always answering with “Fine.” Kindness is doing good things to help others
from a heart of tenderness toward them. Goodness is making the right choice to help someone
no matter what, even if our heart isn’t tender toward them. So when you are kind toward your
children it’s coming from the good (right choices) you want for them and, lucky for them, also
for your affection and tenderness towards them. Is it kind to let our children leave the house
looking goofy just so their feelings aren’t hurt? No. Someone will tell them. It’s best that the
truth comes from your kindness instead of the mean kid in class. If you are working on helping
them with clothing choices, you could say, “Honey, those clothes don’t match. If I were you, I
would keep the shirt and change the pants or keep the pants and change the shirt. If you want
my suggestions, I will help you, but I just wanted you to know before you head out the door.”
Then your child has the option to choose what to do and you can support the child’s choice and
you have been kind enough to speak the truth no matter what the child looks like on the
Love is patient, love is kind. 1 Corinthians 13:4a
What are ways you teach your children patience and kindness as an act of love?