Love is Patience (1 of 14) | Devotions with Dad

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Love is Patience (1 of 14)

For DAD Only:

Another Gear

I’m one of those people that lives life wide open, in fifth gear. I take very little time to rest because I can never say no, I take on more than I can finish, and I believe one day I will find a cure for sleep. Just be glad I’m not your dad.

I have come to realize the detriments of my hyperactivity as I see the effects in my children. They have learned that I prioritize speed. “Let’s get it done, guys. Hurry up.”

The effects of my impatience came home to greet me one night when we returned from church to find everything from supper still on the table.

“Why didn’t you guys put your dirty dishes in the dishwasher?”

“Because you told us to hurry up and get ready to go.”

Hmmm. So there, Dad, answer that. “Um, well, you know we need to keep things clean, too. Uh, so next time, clean up quick and then get ready quick.”

Okay, the hard-to-admit thing is that patience wasn’t one of my built-in character traits. During my last Devotions with DAD time with my kids, I caught myself finishing the Bible verse my son was reading because he was taking too long with it. Hello, this is quality time with my family and I am trying to rush it?

Just as reckless driving causes accidents, impatience invites anger. Dad, if you and I can’t learn the art of waiting, we’ll never conquer our tempers. If we can learn to put up with a little discomfort, or ignorance, or NOISY TOYS, or WASTED FOOD, or, or… Okay, breath deeply.

Dad, you and I often find ourselves trying to pop the clutch and swerve around anger when it crowds in. However, we could avoid it much more often if we take the road of patience everyday. The KJV version of patience is “longsuffering.” That one word says it all. If we learn to suffer long with our kids’ imperfections, we will be well on our way to being nominated as “Dad of the year” (or at least getting a high-five).

So, I’m working on using those lower gears a little more. Some opportunities will have to pass me by. I must force myself to visit more rest stops. Better than starting a million projects, I can take time to focus and finish a few (right now I am writing for multiple assignments, supposed to be writing another novel, remodeling my home, working on my Master’s degree, teaching home Bible studies, pastoring a church, and trying to be a super dad to some super kids).

The wise man who wore himself out with hyper-productivity wrote: “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8-9)

Okay, point taken. Be patient. Hastiness brings on angriness. Who knows, maybe by gearing down and learning patience a dad could reduce his daily “angry hour” to only ten minutes per week.

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Dad, read this story with your kids:

Good Things Come

After going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, Rusty had been inspired about watching the birds. Today, he had an even better idea.

“Mom, can I go outside and catch a bird?”

Mom smiled. “Rusty, that sounds like a tough thing to do.” She continued scrubbing the kitchen sink. “What would you do with it after you caught it?”

“I don’t really want to catch it. I just want to get one to land in my hand.”

“Hmmm.” Mom looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “How do you expect to do that?”

“By putting birdseed on my hand.”

“Well, it will take a lot of patience,” she said as she continued her work, “do you think you can handle it?”

“I think so,” Rusty said getting his coat and gloves.

Misty came to the kitchen doorway and yawned. “Are you going outside already, Rusty?”

Her brother nodded enthusiastically. “I’m going to get a bird to land in my hand.”

Misty watched him go outside and said, “Mom, will a bird land in his hand?”

“If he waits long enough. We’ll see.”

Misty sat down at the kitchen table. “Rats. I was hoping he would play my new game with me.”

“Which game is that, hon?”

“The one with the wooden blocks.”

Mom said, “While you wait on him, you could practice the game and get really good at it.”

Misty poured a bowl of cereal and got out her Jenga game from the closet. She opened the top of the box, flipped it upside down, and lifted it off slowly so that all the wooden blocks stood in a neat, tall stack.

Misty went to the window to see if Rusty had given up on the birds yet. He was standing with birdseed in the palm of his gloved hand which rested on the birdfeeder. He stood silently watching the birds flit around in the nearby trees, waiting.

“He’s going to be out there forever,” she said as she shuffled her slippers back to the table. She thanked Jesus for her breakfast and took a bite of the crunchy cereal. She stared at the Jenga blocks for a minute. She pushed at one and it slid out easily. She pulled it out all the way and set it on top of the stack. She pulled another one out quickly, making the tower of blocks wobble and suddenly fall over.

She ate her cereal and restacked the tower of wooden blocks. After pulling out just a few blocks, the tower wobbled and fell again.

“Mom, how am I supposed to get this tower to stay up?”

Mom looked away from the counter where she had been cutting up vegetables. “Patience, Misty. Take your time, move slowly.”

Misty sighed and looked at the mess of blocks on the table. She got up and looked out the window. Rusty still stood there with his hand on the birdfeeder, palm up, waiting for his first visitor. “How is he just standing there like that?”

“Patience, Misty.”

Misty sighed again and picked up her bowl and spoon. She rinsed them out in the sink and set them in the dishwasher. Misty picked up the wooden blocks and stacked them again. “I’m bored.”

“Oh, you are?” Mom said with the raise of her eyebrow. “Well, we don’t want you to be bored. Grab an apron.”

Misty moaned, “Mom.”

“Well, I could use a little help here.”

Misty sighed as she pulled her little apron off the hook inside the closet door. “Okay, what do you need me to do?”

“We need to boil some eggs for the egg salad. Get out a pot from the cabinet down there and fill it with water.”

Misty opened the door under the kitchen counter and found the shiny silver pot. She put it under the faucet and filled it. She set it on the stove and asked, “How high should I put the temperature?”

“All the way on high,” Mom said as she turned the knob. “We want it to boil.”

Misty grabbed a barstool and sat down in front of the stove.

“What are you doing, Misty?” Mom asked.

“I want to see the water boil.”

“Well, go ahead and put a lid on that pot or it will take a long time.”

“Okay.” Misty put the lid on and then went to the glass to door to see what Rusty was doing. He was still standing by the birdfeeder with his hand out, waiting.

Misty shuffled back over to the stove and sat down. She lifted the lid and looked at the water. “It doesn’t even feel hot yet.”

“No, it’s going to take a little while, dear.”

Misty got up to try her game of Jenga again. After it fell down, she checked to see if the water was boiling. It wasn’t. She looked out to see if Rusty had given up yet. He hadn’t.

“Isn’t he going to get too cold out there?” she asked her Mom.

“He has a hat, coat, and gloves. I think he knows when he should come in.”

Misty lifted the lid again.

“Misty, it won’t boil if you keep watching it.”

“I think it’s getting warm.”

“Just leave it alone for a while.”

Misty restacked her game and played it until it fell again. She came back to the stovetop. This time, when she lifted the lid she saw little bubbles forming on the bottom and sides of the shiny silver pan. Mom had gone into the laundry room, so Misty got the eggs out of the refrigerator herself. She plopped six of them into the steamy water.

Mom came back into the kitchen.

“Do we need more than six eggs?” Misty asked.

“Yes, we’ll need the whole dozen.”

“Okay.” Misty lifted the lid off the pot again.

“You already put some in?”

Misty looked up at her mom. “Yes.”

“But the water isn’t boiling.”

“It looked like it was going to. It was looking fizzy on the bottom.”

“Oh, Misty. Get the salad tongs and pull those eggs back out of the water. They cooled it down before it could boil.”

Misty sighed and got down from the stool. She dug for the salad tongs while her mom talked about being patient. She dug out the eggs and put them in a bowl while Mom told her about the importance of waiting.

Misty put the lid back on the pot and excused herself to check on Rusty. She looked out the glass door and saw him still standing there waiting. She also saw a bright red cardinal flit down from a tree and land on top of the birdfeeder.

“Mom, come look. There’s a bird really close to Rusty.”

Mom came to the glass, wiping her hands on a towel. She and Misty watched the bird tilt it’s head to look at Rusty. It flitted its feathers as if it wanted to fly away. Then it turned and edged its way toward his glove. The bird stretched to reach the birdseed in Rusty’s palm. It pecked at one piece. Then it stepped up one foot and then the other foot until it was standing in Rusty’s hand, pecking at the little pile of birdfeed. Suddenly, it looked up and flew back into the tree.

Rusty watched it go and then jumped up and down. He looked toward the house and yelled, “I did it! He landed in my hand!” He rushed toward the door and bounded in. “Did you see that? That was awesome!”

Misty smiled. “Wow, Rusty, I can’t believe you waited that long. You must have a lot of patience.”

“You must be cold,” Mom said.

“Oh, a little bit. But that was so cool!” he shouted.

“Let’s get you some hot cocoa,” Mom said as they all walked into the kitchen.

“Thanks,” Rusty said. “Hey look, what’s this water boiling for?”

“Finally!” Misty exclaimed as she climbed back onto the barstool. Mom nodded approval, and Misty gently placed all twelve eggs into the rolling water. After she put the lid back on, she turned to Rusty and asked, “Do you want to play Jenga with me? I think you will be good at it.”

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Why do we need to learn patience?

Why does I Corinthians 13:4 say that love “suffers long”?

Because patience means being able to endure hard stuff without getting upset.

What things do you get impatient about?

How can we learn to be more patient about things?

What about people? Do people make us impatient? Why do we learn to be patient with others?

Someday you will want someone to wait on you. You don’t want others to go off and leave you.

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Read the following scripture with the family:

To Those Who Wait

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Luke 2:21-38, from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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What had the man Simeon and the woman Anna been waiting a long, long time for?

Jesus has already come to us. What spiritual things do we wait for?

Answers to prayer, salvation of loved ones, Jesus Second Coming.

Why do people say “best things come to those who wait”?

What are some things you waited for and finally got?

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Take some time to color with your youngin’s:

A Bird in the Hand

Go to devotionswithdad.com/1-12Coloring.pdf and print it off. You’ll want to get out a couple red crayons.

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Here’s a fun activity to try:

A Project of Patience

Dad, make this rocket with your kids. They’ll get a real blast out of this project when the lid blows off and flies sky high. In the mean time, they will have to be patient, waiting for the chemicals to mix and react.

Take an empty bottle and fill it with two or more ounces of lemon juice and water (I think this works with vinegar as well). Take a partial piece of paper towel and pour some baking soda in the middle (more than a teaspoon, less than a tablespoon). Fold the edges of the paper towel over the baking soda and twist the ends (like a tootsie roll). Tip the bottle on its side and slide the paper-wrapped baking soda into the liquid. Stick the cork in immediately (but don’t put it in too tightly). Point the bottle up (sloshing the liquid, slightly opening the baking soda package) and stand back.

As the acidic liquid and soda mix, carbon dioxide forms, thus creating excessive pressure inside. It might take a few tries to get this to work right, but remember, Dad, it’s all about being patient.

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Memory Verse:

I Corinthians 13:4

Charity suffereth long,…

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