Parents : The Need to Be Long-Suffering

Let everything you do be done with love.

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Paul wrote: “Love is long-suffering.”  The Greek expression translated “long-suffering” denotes patience and slowness to anger. Why do parents need to be long-suffering? Most parents can no doubt think of many reasons.

Consider just a few. Children seldom ask just once for some desired object. Even if a parent replies with a firm no, the child may ask again and again, hoping for a different answer. Teenagers may want to argue at length that they should be allowed to take some course of action that the parent knows to be foolish. And like all of us, children are prone to repeat some of their mistakes.

What can help parents to be long-suffering and patient with their children? King Solomon wrote: “The insight of a man certainly slows down his anger.”  Parents gain insight into their children’s behavior by recalling that at one time they too used to “speak as a babe, to think as a babe, to reason as a babe.” Parents, can you remember bothering your mother or father to give in to a childish request?

As a teenager, did you ever think that your parents just did not understand your feelings or problems? If so, you likely appreciate why your children behave as they do and why they need constant, patient reminders of your decisions. It is worth noting that Jehovah told Israelite parents to “inculcate” his laws in their young ones.

The Hebrew word for “inculcate” means “to repeat,” “to say again and again,” “to impress.” This implies that parents may have to repeat themselves many times before a child learns to apply God’s laws. Similar repetition is often needed to teach other lessons in life.

A long-suffering parent, however, is not a permissive parent. God’s Word warns: “A boy let on the loose will be causing his mother shame.” To prevent such an outcome, the same proverb states: “The rod and reproof are what give wisdom.”

At times, children may question the right of parents to reprove them. But Christian families should not be run as a democracy, as if the parents’ right to enforce rules were somehow dependent on the children’s approval. Rather, Jehovah, as the ultimate Head of the family, confers on parents the authority to train and discipline their children lovingly. In fact, discipline is closely linked with the next aspect of love mentioned by Paul.

~ by DJ Camstar on 25/09/2016.

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