Pursuing and Producing Patience
By Tamara Eaton
Sometimes the Lord allows us to experience a "refresher course"
in an area we thought we'd already conquered. In my case, it was a lesson
in patience --and a chance to identify with new homeschooling parents who
struggle to learn patience in teaching their children at home. Especially when
nothing seems to be going right --at least not like the examples given in
homeschooling articles and books!
If all homeschool days were like the first two days of our new school year,
I would have been tempted to give up long ago. I was all geared up and ready
to hit the books, but my younger two were still in the laid-back summer
relaxed mode and couldn't seem to get into the swing of things. Everything was
I found myself teaching English to a couple of frustrated perfectionists
and when my youngest daughter's eyes filled with tears, I knew something had
to change fast to get us back on track. I felt impatient, wanting to spur them
on so we could get everything accomplished, but I realized there was
something far more important than sticking to my schedule --guarding the
atmosphere of our homeschool. I needed to use wisdom, tenderness and
patience to gently guide them in the way that they should go.
One important quality of a good teacher is the ability to pace studies to
meet the individual student's needs. What difference does it make in the long
run if some lessons take two days instead of one, or a month instead of a
week? Establishing a good foundation is essential and one of the benefits
of homeschooling is being able to take the necessary time to cover things well
and not move on until the lesson is understood. This requires patience for
both parent and child! Yet patience seems sadly lacking in our fast-paced
How many times have you heard people use the excuse of a lack of patience
as their reason to avoid homeschooling? Yet would you believe me when I tell
you that everyone has enough patience already to do what God has called
them to do --they just need to exercise it? It's true! God has
promised all throughout His Word to help us perform what He has called us to
do. He tells us He won't allow more than we can handle. We just need to be
reminded of this when circumstances require patience.
Here's how we can practice patience in every situation:
1. Stop! Recognize your need for
2. Yield! Consciously yield to the
Holy Spirit and allow Him to minister to you so the fruit of patience can flow
through you. Pray, "Father, I give this area to you --thank you for
helping me exercise patience and wisdom!"
3. Act! Determine to act upon what you
know is right, instead of reacting to the circumstances. He won't force you to
do what is right --you make that choice yourself, but He will give you the all
the strength and wisdom you need to be patient if you look to Him.
Often we make it harder on ourselves by neglecting crucial areas that are
within our control. The following things contribute to impatience if we
don't watch out:
* Lack of sleep
* Trying to do too much
* On the go all the time -- not slowing down
enough to smell the roses
* Focussing on the negative --not looking for
* Comparing yourself or your children to
* Expecting too much of your child
* Demanding perfection without giving room to
grow and mature
* Lack of consistency in training and
disciplining your child
* Neglecting your own spiritual needs --lack
of prayer and time in God's Word
Thankfully, the Lord got my attention and I was able to adjust both my
expectations and our schedule to allow us to go at a slower pace to get
adjusted for the new year. Now, two months later, we are once again settled
into a good routine and enjoying our homeschooling days. Oh, we still have
need of patience! We get plenty of practice in that area as parents, but we
have a Source that never wanes even when we are tempted to grow weary.
Failure is almost certain when we try to do everything in our own strength,
it's only as we learn to abide in Jesus and yield to the Holy Spirit that
we will ever be sure of succeeding in following His Will for our lives.
Without His help, who among us could stand, but with His help --how can we
fail? Let's all continue to focus on Him and put His Word into practice in our
"But you, O man of God.... pursue righteousness, godliness, faith,
love, patience, gentleness." --1 Tim 6:11
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience
have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
nothing." --James 1:2-4
"Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into
the patience of Christ." --2 Th 3:5
More Encouragement from Scripture:
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in
him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."--John
"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what
you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that
you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." --John 15:7-8
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no
law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections
and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
"And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the
full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but
imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises." --Heb
[Note--If you don't know the Lord in a personal, saving way--find out how
you can be set free from all condemnation and receive Eternal life, as well as
His daily help and guidance! (Knowing God)
© Copyright Tamara Eaton 1994-2000, all rights reserved.
Permission is given to reprint any of Tamara's articles in non-profit
publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the
copyright information and website address. Please send a copy of the
publication to :Deeper Life Family Ministries, P.O. Box 909, Killen, AL 35645.
We have always homeschooled our six children (elementary through high
school and beyond!) and enjoy encouraging other families in their
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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."