Meditate: Romans 8:25-26a
Extended Reading: Romans 8:18-27
- What situation has really tested your patience?
- Many parents find it hard to be patient with their children. How do you manage it?
Relate: It can be difficult to get your voice heard when you are the younger sibling. Growing up I developed a stutter because I was so accustomed to people interrupting me. Our son Z always has to wait for his sisters, especially when he wants to say something. My girls talk! There are a lot of words in our house. Some days we hear so many words, we establish a word moratorium. “You’ve run out of words for the day. Tomorrow is coming soon.” This is one of the byproducts of having four kids.
It’s Too Hard: The older ones are always in conversation with each other, with Noel, or with me. And Zion, because he has grown up listening to a lot of words, has learned a lot of words. He’s a verbally expressive kid. But he often has to wait. I remember one day when Zion had waited awhile to tell a story during dinner, quietly stood up on top of his chair and yelled, “I can’t wait any longer….IT’S TOO HARD!!”
Waiting For Our Kids: It is hard to wait. And not just the annoying stuff like waiting for your kids to come out to the car when you’ve already honked twice. Or waiting for them to finish cleaning their room. It’s hard to wait for them to understand a lesson you know will help them win. It’s hard to wait for God to convict them about a pattern of behavior. It’s hard to wait for them to say, “I’m sorry.”
God Helps Us Learn Patience: Maybe Z is right. This waiting thing, IT’S TOO HARD! Yet patiently waiting is one of the gifts God’s Spirit gives us and it is one of the disciplines we are called to as children of God. Paul, after anchoring the people of God to the hope they have in redemption puts it this way in Romans 8:25-26, “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Yet, it is hard to wait for what we do not have. But we can trust God to help us remain patient.
- Sing: The Fruits of the Spirit (This will sound familiar! We’ll be practicing this song all summer!!)
- Fruits of the Spirit: Coloring Pages
- Fruits of the Spirit: Word Search
- Choose a fun word or catchphrase to help each other throughout the day remember to wait patiently. When you notice someone having trouble waiting, use your catchphrase as a fun reminder to rely on the Holy Spirit.
- What are some things everyone has to wait for in our family?
- What are some things only you have to wait for?
Bedtime: The end of the day can serve as an opportune time to recap with your children. As you wind down, create an environment where you can chat with your child. Find a comfy spot on the couch or sit on the bed with them.
- Preschool Kids: Play a game of waiting this evening. For example: Let’s wait for the water to get warm in the bathtub. Let’s text a family member and wait for them to reply “Goodnight.” As your child, “Is it hard to wait?” After they respond, tell them, “The Bible tells us that the Spirit helps us in our weakness. God’s Spirit helps us to wait patiently.” Together, spend time thinking about the things they will need to wait for tomorrow and pray for God’s strength to help them wait patiently.
- Elementary Kids: Find a clock and show it to your child. Together, think of the different times you had to wait throughout the day. Ask your child, “How does waiting feel?” Help them get specific and descriptive. Ask, “Do you wait patiently or impatiently? What does that look like?” After they respond, read Romans 8:25-26 and pray for god’s strength to help them wait patiently tomorrow.