"And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit" (Ecclesiastes 7:8b).

My daughter's first attempt at baking bread in our home economics class served as a stark reminder of the importance of patience. Although she carefully measured and followed the recipe's directions when making the dough, her lack of patience in waiting for it to rise paid a stiff penalty. Thinking she could hurry the process along, she only let the dough rise 15 minutes instead of an hour. Later, as she removed the bread from the oven, she discovered the consequence of her actions. Each loaf was flat and too hard to eat.

Patience is more than a virtue. It is a fruit of the Spirit that must be developed in our children's character (Galatians 5:22). As we teach our children to discipline their selfish emotions, they learn to wait on God and trust Him for all their needs. However, leading our children through this growing process requires a patience of its own. As homeschooling parents, we may find ourselves failing to demonstrate the very patience we are attempting to instill.

What about you? Are you speaking crossly, acting perturbed, or responding negatively to your child's request for help during the day? Homeschooling requires an intense amount of love and patience that only comes from walking with the Lord. The next time you find yourself growing cross after a long homeschooling day, remember that impatience can ruin more than just a loaf of bread. It can also ruin your relationship with your children and your home. "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love" (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Father, help me to practice what I preach and demonstrate patience with those I love. Let my words be seasoned by Your grace and let me rise above the homeschooling problems in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name, Amen.