Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Patience and JOY!

Reading time: two minutes. In the past few years, I’ve learned that being patient with your grandchildren is easier than, well, throwing macaroni and cheese out of your high chair onto the kitchen floor. “Relax! Come on, they’re just kids!” Of course my own children wish I had learned this lesson about 30 years sooner. “Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:2-3). There’s a tendency among members of the Body of Christ to place unreasonable expectations of (nearly) perfect behavior on the children of church workers, behavior they wouldn’t expect of their own. How we respond becomes a classroom for our children and for the church. We model the gospel to the whole body when we first model patient forgiveness and grace in our homes.  Paul was genius (oops, inspired!) to slip chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians right in the middle of the chapters 12-14 conversation about the Body of Christ; living and serving together. Does the Spirit’s fruit, patience, play prominently? “Love is…”  My grandchildren are teaching me about patience and about love. I’m discovering, almost every time they come over to visit, that the joy of being family is exponentially greater than the joy of a tidy kitchen floor. We sometimes have weeks old fingerprints on the storm door because we can’t bear the thought of wiping it clean. Family life is messy. Love is patient. Just yesterday I heard a pastor teaching that marriage and family life are where we learn about grace. You don’t learn about love in your ministry as a church worker and then bring it home. You learn about love at home and then bring it to church. Relational wellbeing is families modeling the love of Christ to one another, and then bringing what they’ve learned from one another to the one another we call the church. Every time we gather, as a family or as a church family, is another opportunity to live in patience. We’re on a life-long learning curve on this one. Maybe that’s why God is sometimes so gracious that he gives us grandchildren. And now I’m thinking that maybe my own children’s patience with Grandpa is a classroom for old guys. Thanks for reading. Do you serve in a multiple staff setting in a church, Lutheran school, university or social service ministry?  Discover how a Ministry Team Wellness Workshop can help enhance your team ministry by building the unity, spiritual life and communication essential to partnership in ministry.  Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman for more information.