Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
The Virtue of Patience
One can often tell a seasoned mother from a first timer. The first-time mother will dote over her child, cooing and smiling at him through the whole grocery store. But that first-time mother with invariably finds herself at her wit’s end when the little “Bundle” tests her patience for the umpteenth time. On the other hand, while seasoned mothers sometimes are the ones who accidentally forget their child at the church after a faculty meeting, they can laugh about it later. And seasoned mothers are the ones who know their child inside out, how they think, how they process information, even what brand of toothpaste they like best. If you cannot identify with their behavioural pattern, you are lacking much in your child’s life.
But perhaps the most inspiring and desirable virtue of a seasoned mother is her patience. She knows that children are not always going to get it right the first time around. She also knows that children are not adults and therefore should not be expected to think or act like them. She is content to watch her child explore and discover, question and learn. She is not threatened by acts of rebellion because she knows who her authority comes from and how to correct the behaviour with love and firmness.
God deals with His children much the same way a seasoned mother handles hers. He knows their frame, that they are dust. (Psalm 103:14) He also knows their hearts, that they sometimes are bent on evil. Yet His mercies are new every morning. God’s incredible patience with His children is both mysterious and undeserving.
Christians are called to be examples of the love of God, and a testimony of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul said it well in his letter to the Ephesians: “Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”(Ephesians 4:2) Not only are women to be patient with their children, but also with others she comes in contact with, knowing that she is just as fallible as the next person. She is even-tempered and not easily disturbed when things get crazy. She can remain collected even when her little “joy” draws on the living room wall with crayons.
Yet the virtue of patience is not limited to only mothers. It can be alive and work within a woman who leads a Bible study for new believers, or a woman who teaches a classroom full of five-year-olds. Patience can show up in a woman who has to care for her ageing and an ailing parent. Patience is a gift that God gives to any woman whose own ability to endure falls short. As I continue to explore the virtues of a Godly woman I am trying to see the opposite in the man. Is there enough patience to go around to him?