I have spent the last year and a half potty training. If you know me, you know I have 6 children ages 6 and under. You might be thinking it is back-to-back potty training of multiple children. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I have been potty training my son for a year and a half. An outsider could very easily see this as trivial, but to me it isn’t. It is something that has brought me to anger, frustration, and ultimately led me to sin many times. 

Recently my mind has been on God as a long-suffering Father. We find all throughout scripture verses like Psalm 86:15 “But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
Slow to anger and abundant in mercy and truth.” God is slow to anger, patient with us, His children. He is full of mercy towards me, when I sin in so many grievous ways. Is this how we treat our own children?

Our children’s sin is wrong; however, we should not take it as a personal offense against us. We react quickly and harshly. Instead of dealing with the sin, we sin ourselves in our anger, unkind speech and closing ourselves off to our children. Even more than that, often we are not gracious and compassionate to our children in areas of our children’s lives that aren’t sinful. 

This summer I desire to be long-suffering. I want to put off my own selfishness and impatience and rather imitate our good Father. My son not understanding how to use the toilet isn’t sin. Rather than being cold, short tempered and unkind towards him, I want to seek to be compassionate and merciful, slow to anger. 

Is there an area in your life where you need to be long-suffering as well? A child who gets on your last nerve, all. the. time? I encourage you to be mindful of God’s love to you. Rather than be annoyed and angry with our children, let’s look for ways to bless and encourage them. Build them up. All the while, teaching and training them in God’s truth. 

Love,
Elizabeth

Elizabeth Rethorn

Author Elizabeth Rethorn

Elizabeth Rethorn shares great insights about joyful mothering, because she is one of the most joyful mothers out there. God has blessed her and her husband Jonathan with four happy kiddos too, plus one on the way. Her mothering journey began when she first turned 23 with baby #1...and baby #2 arrived before she even turned 24! Elizabeth is a kid-at-heart as she delights in eating an ice cream cone every evening, spinning the cotton candy at church functions, and enjoying candy as much as her toddlers.

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