My mom used to say that patience is a virtue. Yours probably said that, too. Did you ever wonder what that means? A trusty Google search kicks back a pretty cut-and-dry definition that I like a whole lot: “a behavior of high moral standards.” As I worked on the second book in our H.E.A.R.D. series, Esther: The Belle of Patience, I found myself playing around with that phrase a lot as it relates to the story of this strong and beautiful woman of the Bible. When I think about patience in my own house, it often relates to something I’ve asked my daughter to do or, more specifically, to wait for. She wants something, but she needs to wait. “Be patient,” I say. In my head, that looks like her stopping, holding still, and just being there or redirecting her focus until I decide it’s time for her to do or have that thing she wants.
But patience is so much more than a simple pause, a discontinuance of motion, or a temporary redirect from a short-term goal. Patience is a virtue, a series of deliberate and thoughtful behaviors that allow our girls to be well and at peace while they wait, and to trust and continue on in faith if that thing they want never comes. The key to Esther’s patience is that she did not passively sit on hold, waiting for God’s timing. Her patience was rooted in action; it was all about her behavior. What did she do? She spent time in prayer. She fasted. She sought wise counsel. She knew the right time to act because she fully aligned herself with God’s purpose and plan. She sought His guidance and support and expertly discerned the exact moment that God required her to step into her role. Esther was all about doing patience, not being patient. And, because she was deliberate, because she knew that waiting means working, she heard God’s voice above all the noise.
Let’s teach our girls to do the same, to use their times in wait as opportunities to actively and purposefully prepare for His will, His desires for them, and His plan. Every time we show them how to do patience the way Esther did it, we show them that they serve a God who not only hears. He speaks.
Giveaway: Erin and Bible Belles are giving away one signed copy of her new book, Esther: The Belle of Patience to one Mothers of Daughters reader! Just leave a comment below to enter. Winner must reside in USA and will be chosen at random on Sunday June 19, 2016 and notified by email!
Erin is an enthusiastic and goofy mom to two children, one of them with paws. She is a wife, author, teacher, former college athlete and a five-time cancer survivor. Her heart is in Seville, Spain, though she calls Encinitas, CA home. In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach with her husband and daughter, coaching softball, and pretending she can bake. She loves eating, laughing, and volunteering at Sunday school. Alongside her husband, she is the co-founder of Bible Belles, an organization committed to teaching girls about the female heroes of the Bible. Find out more about Erin and Bible Belles here.