25 February 2016

"I Don't Have the Patience For That"

This title is a common response to the answer to what I do with the majority of my days: homeschool.

I've been trying to think about what it really means to not have patience for something.  Because my immediate thought is often "neither do I."  Unless it's been a particularly good day.  Then maybe I am pridefully smug.  That's very rare. (The part about a great day, I'm sure I have pride issues way too often.)

I can tell you that I keep at it, even though I don't feel I have the patience or organizational, disciplined character to educate my five offspring marvelously.  I also sometimes go to Walmart on a Saturday afternoon even though I don't have the patience for it.  Sometimes I drive in rush hour traffic (though that's not much of an issue here in Williston), or call my health care provider even though I really don't have the patience to wait to talk to someone who won't know how to answer my question.

And so I think in two directions:

1.  Have you thought through your child's education and are you doing what you are convinced is best for you, your child, and your whole family?  If so, great.  Then just say, "I've thought about homeschooling but don't think it's the right fit for our family."  I get it.  I've been there and will be there again.

2.  Do you make decisions on what you have patience for?  I'm not sure that's the best test for how to make commitments.  I don't think I would have had children in the first place if that was my criteria.  I probably wouldn't have gotten married, though I do have an amazing man who doesn't test my patience much, only supports me.  I wouldn't do many of the things I've chosen to do.

Patience is a fruit of the spirit.  It requires growth and time.  More growth and time for some than others, and I lean in the some category.

And so, this is not at all a post on whether you should homeschool or not, but only a challenge to our cultural thinking.

As Christians, we believe Christ's "divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."  (2 Peter 1:3)

Let us make our decisions not on what we think we can handle, but on what Christ calls us to do.  For if He calls us, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13)

Some decisions we get to make by faith--and then we can see God come through for us.  Some situations He allows into our lives without our input.  Either way, he is faithful to strengthen those who hope in Him.


Melissa Petersen said...

I feel much the same way about telling kids that they "should" obey God or their parents. Or telling them that they "must" do what's right. We are putting a crushing weight of guilt on them if we keep telling them to act in their own strength. Our goal is lead them to recognize that it is ONLY by the Spirit of God that we can obey and do what is right. By saying, as adults, that we do not have the patience for something helps us to recognize our need for God, but it cannot stop there. We then can fall at the feet of Jesus and say, "I need your help because I can't do it on my own!"

Dayna said...

Beautifully put, Melissa.
Growing to depend on Jesus during every moment is a lifelong journey.