By Lisa Cherry

In a culture of instant mashed potatoes, instant messaging, and instant entertainment, our children know little of the concept of waiting.

This became even clearer to me as I prepared the last holiday feast with my daughters at my side. Mom, this is sooooo much work! they proclaimed after all the dicing and mixing and table setting.

Sad thing was, I found myself feeling the same way!

It strikes me that waiting in the form of patience is no longer seen as a virtue. It is considered our mortal enemy. However, I am not at all sure that God is embracing our view on life.

His interactions throughout the pages of the Bible are filled with instructions to His children to wait.

So, if we want our children to mature in Godliness, we will have no choice but to go against the cultural tide and train our kids to wait.

Here are some ideas I have thought to help our family.

1. Recognize, as a parent, that your kids are handicapped in waiting for three reasons. First, youthfulness is impulsive by nature. Second, technology and modern civilization has removed many natural opportunities to learn waiting. Third, speed is seen as a sign of strength and value in our world.

2. Teach point #1 to your children intentionally. Show them scriptural examples of waiting:

Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for their son Isaac.

Jacob waited seven years and a week for his wife Rachel, and then had to work for her father another seven years after the wedding.

After waiting all his “just and devout” life, Simeon finally got to see and hold  the baby Jesus.

After Jesus waited 30 years and fasted for 40 days, He was launched into His ministry.

3. Intentionally do a few things “the hard and slow way” just to give your family a perspective. Though we own a leaf blower, Doug insists we get everyone out in the fall with rakes! And at least a few times a year, we need to shred our own cheese.

4. Laugh with your kids while you do #3. It will bother your “speed” ideology as much as theirs.

5. Encourage your family when you observe them displaying the skill of waiting. Compliment patient behavior. Let them experience something other than frustration when life moves slower than they want.

6. Cultivate the adventure quality of youth. Teens and young adults hate to wait, but love the extreme. Help them to understand that waiting for God IS the extreme…..and the Spirit-led life is filled with drama when we can learn to wait on His voice!  Serving Jesus is a blast.

7.   Look at scriptural promises about waiting:  The Lord is good to those who wait for Him (Lam. 3:25) and those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength…(Isaiah 40:31)

What others ways have you discovered to help your children learn patience?  Please share them in the comments.

Image courtesy of Elizabeth French

Linking up to Monday’s Musings,  The Better Mom, Visionary Linkup,  Modest MondaysLoving Our ChildrenOn Your Heart Tuesday Teach Me Tuesdays, and Weekend Whatever.

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About frontlinemama

I am a mom who is passionate about equipping moms and parents to help their children through the challenging times we live in today.

7 responses »

  1. […] that waiting for God is the extreme…..and the Spirit-led life is filled with drama when we can learn to wait on His […]

  2. I love the idea of fighting the “microwave mentality” that seems so valued in our culture today. How much can you accomplish and how quickly can you do it? Good practical tips.

  3. Patience is still a virtue the last time I looked…it is so hard to practice it when the world wants to speed us all up. Thanks for the great reminders! Hopping from Teaching What Is Good.

  4. EXCELLENT post, Lisa! Waiting is something our entire culture is no longer good at.

  5. This is a great post! I love the ideas and it’s just amazing the fact that we must deliberately slow down in today’s culture. Sad, really. It’s just my husband and myself right now but we try to make meals slower and when we are doing yard work we’re out there with rakes and our natural push-mower (the old fashioned kind) :) There’s definitely lots of things we can do to live intentionally slower and “smell the roses.” God put them there for a reason after all!

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