Women often erroneously think a three hour labor is better and easier than a 24 hour labor. This is not necessarily true. All of the work completed in a 24 hour labor is squeezed compactly into three hours, and it can be harder than a longer labor. There is no getting out of the work of labor, no matter how long it is.
Similarly, there is no getting out of the work of learning to be patient as a parent, whether I homeschool or send my kids to school. It boils down to choosing the circumstances in which I wish to grow in patience. Either way, I still have to do the work. There is no getting out of it.
So, I don’t have enough patience to homeschool my children. It’s true.
I also don’t think I have the patience to send my kids to school. The morning rush. The hours of homework per child. Having to make an effort to cooperate with a teacher who may or may not be a good fit for my children’s learning styles. The lack of flexibility in scheduling. And more besides.
I have recently come to the realization that God, in his infinite goodness, has chosen children to be one of his best (and cutest) tools to teach me patience. I need patience to rear my children, but I do not have enough patience, so God gave me children to teach me patience. Yet, I need patience to rear my children. And on it goes.
There is nothing especially virtuous about my choice to homeschool my kids. I am no more patient than anyone else. Not really. Being a mother has stretched me farther than I ever thought I could be stretched, and I am beginning to see that I will never have “enough” patience to do this job to the degree I would like.
What I do have is a calling from God. I am called to do it, in this time, for the children he has given me. That’s it. I just have to obey, whether I believe I can do it or not. Whether I have the patience for it or not. Whether I have the strength, stamina, or perseverance for it or not.
Like every other calling God may place upon one of his children, he has asked me to do what feels impossible most days. However, he has not asked me to do something that he will not equip me to do on a daily basis. Do I need patience? He will give me opportunities to practice. Will I fail? Everyday. Yet, I trust that God will hold my children close to his heart, and he will cover my multitude of sins with his love and grace in their lives. He does not leave me floundering, to do it on my own.
It does not take a special kind of person to homeschool. It does not take more patience than other education choices. It does not require a certain personality. It doesn’t require more money, better character, or a certain gifting. Just like every other mother on the planet, I need God’s grace, strength, and anointing to do the work he has called me to do.
I do not have enough patience to homeschool, so God has chosen to use homeschooling to teach me patience. Yet, I need patience to homeschool.
And that’s all there is to it.
Grace & Peace,