After having to ask my boys repeatedly to complete their tasks so we could get out the door on time, I shouted, “Boys, I am running out of patience with you!” But before I could speak another word, the thought ran through my mind: Aren’t you glad God never runs out of patience with you? I was able to use that small moment in the middle of our chaotic day to remind my kids of the Good News that “God never runs out of patience for us. He never comes to the end of His rope with us.”
Sometimes we’re tempted to think that because we continue to sin, God gets a little more disappointed in us and a little more annoyed with us until He finally just throws His hands up and declares, “I’m giving up on you altogether.” But that’s not God. Out of His fullness, He gives us grace upon grace (John 1:16) for our failures and mistakes. But there’s more! He also gives us the Holy Spirit who not only guides us in doing good but produces good fruit in our lives.
You know the expression “Don’t try this at home”? In our parenting, it’s “Don’t try this alone.” We cannot be the examples we long to be without the power of the Holy Spirit. And trust me when I tell you, I need to be reminded of this truth at the beginning of every new day. I’m so quick to try and be who I want to be without the power of the Holy Spirit in me. But I can’t. And you can’t. But the great news is, God has given us the Holy Spirit who turns our can’t to can!
As Paul writes: So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions . . . But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:16–17, 22–23 NLT)
We don’t have to keep striving to be the moms we long to be on our own. The fruit that comes from the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in our parenting. Yes, more of that please!!