1 Corinthians 13 Mama: Love is Patient

Before I say another word, let me first say that this is not a post where I’m trying to teach you something. It isn’t like a recipe or craft post where I have learned how to do something and I’m giving instructions. This is more like a journal entry that I’m sharing with you. I do hope it will be an encouragement to those who read it, but I’m writing about these things because I need to learn them. 🙂

I was thinking about Titus 2:4, where the older women are told to teach the younger women. The second thing on the list is about mamas with their children. It doesn’t say, “teach them how to discipline their children” or “how to teach their children”, is says, “teach them how to love their children”. That word for “love” is referring to maternal love and means “to be fond of one’s children“. We already know that nothing we do matters, unless we love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). The next verse in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love is. The very first word used to describe love is “patient”.

Yikes! When my girls look at me, do they see a patient person? When the milk gets spilled and the toys are all over the floor and we’re running late, am I patient? When my four-year-old asks the same question again and my nine-month-old reaches for the same forbidden object again, am I patient? It’s so easy to be patient when life is calm, but when it gets crazy (and it will get crazy!), am I patient?

It’s tempting to say, “yes”. I don’t yell, I don’t scream, I don’t throw things and blow-up. Some moms do. Does that mean that I am patient? The comparison trap is easy to fall into, but it won’t get me anywhere. I can compare myself to “better” mamas and feel like a failure. I can compare myself to “worse” mamas and become prideful. Instead of comparing myself to other people, I need to look at what God says.

So, am I patient? Greek words often have a different flavor than what our English translations give us, in my humble opinion, so I like to look at a longer definition.

Definition: to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart, to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles, to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others, to be mild and slow in avenging, to be long-suffering, slow to anger, slow to punish, patiently endure.


Far too often, that description doesn’t apply to me. I don’t lose my temper, but my heart is impatient. What do I do? “I have stored up Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalms 119:11. I can be transformed by the renewal of my mind by dwelling on God’s word (Romans 12:2).

When life happens and kids are kids, when things are lost or broken, when messes are made and instructions forgotten… “Love is PATIENT.” God wants to work the beauty of patience into my heart, but I have to allow Him to do it. When my impatience surfaces, that will be my spoken invitation for Him to change my heart. I’ll say it out loud, if I need to.

Love is patient. 🙂

Read some practical tips on patient parenting here!

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10 thoughts on “1 Corinthians 13 Mama: Love is Patient

  1. What a great reminder for the start of the week! You know those things that you are told and just always forget are true? You catch more flies with honey.
    I am amazed on the rare occasion that I respond with patience at a major spill or disobedience and my small sigh and just moving on with the day brings real repentance and remorse.
    These, “I’m sorry” s are always sweeter. They alsomakeme love their little hearts even more

  2. Jennie says:

    Loved it!!! I do admit to losing my temper with my 3 yr old, I’d love to blame it on being a single mom but I’m not going to. It’s simply as is I need to be more patient with my kids because love is patient! Thanks so much for this post! I believe it was meant for me to read, I have been struggling with this issue lately and I needed to just look at my situation from another perspective 🙂 Gods definition rather on what love is!!! Thanks again I couldn’t of said it better myself!

  3. Justyn, Thanks so much for pointing back to our week 1 scripture memory. Oh that verse has continuously blessed me! I sat down this morning to really dig into this post because it hits very close to home with me in this season. With a 3 year old and a 20 month old I am in need of a lot of patience. I slip up and fall short every day and struggle feeling like such a meanie – a failure. But God’s grace fills in the cracks and overflows with His love…I need to tap into that resource and truly love my babes! Thanks for some rock-solid content girlie! 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment, Nikki! I’m so glad that you guys did the Scripture memory challenge. Pumpkin quotes Psalms 119:11 almost every day! 🙂

      I love how you put that, about tapping into God’s grace and love! After I finished this post (right about when Pumpkin dropped the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet!) it occurred to me that the more I am aware of and thankful for God’s patience with me, the more that patience flows through me to my girls.

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