The Consistency of Butter

That’s an evocative phrase, isn’t it? You can see it, feel it, taste it, smell it. We all know what the consistency of butter is like. Did you think today’s blog entry was about butter? Nope. It’s about consistency.

Years ago I read a wonderful book by one of my favorite authors: Eugene Peterson. The book is entitled A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society. Long title, huh? But worth the read. That’s what homeschooling is about too, isn’t it? It’s a long obedience- in the same direction. After the initial enthusiasm wears off, after the excitement disappears, after the novelty wears off and after the butterflies in your stomach calm down… it’s about consistency over a protracted period of time. You don’t have to be brilliant, or even gifted. But you do have to have some consistency to finish the race that’s been set before you.

An hour here, two hours there, three days in a row, then one more day. Pretty soon you begin to provide a comprehensive education- one hour at a time. You’ve undoubtedly heard the age old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer of course- one bite at a time; consistency. There’s no substitute for it.

Now consistency is different from legalism or rigidity. Flexibility is an important part of homeschooling- going with the flow. But undergirding that flexibility and creativity there needs to be some measure of consistency- smooth, silky- like butter.

Today’s a lovely day to help your children learn about consistency- about daily discipline. Make a list of all the things you do each day and then share it with your children. Don’t be surprised if the list is 50, 75 or even 100 items long. You’ll be amazed at all the things you do every day- and so will your children. From brushing your teeth and making your bed to saying a bedtime prayer and turning out the bedroom light. It’s about consistency.

Now ask each student to make a list of all the things they need to be doing each day. Little ones can tell you their list- and it may be very short. Older students may be surprised at how long their list is already. Now discuss one or two new items that you would like to see done with some consistency. Daily discipline is perhaps more essential to success than giftedness, talent or intelligence. Many brilliant men fail while consistency often carries the day for men of lesser abilities.

Have a glass of milk and some fresh bread, or perhaps some graham crackers- spread with some soft, warm butter. Remember the consistency we all need if we’re to succeed.

Now take a look at these verses that talk about things that happen with predictable consistency- every single day.

Mt. 6:11

Lk. 9:23

Acts 2:47

Acts 6:1

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Mr Lambert,

    I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate all your postings lately – your heart for homeschooling really comes through…

    I esp. liked this blog. I will think about it some more and I will discuss it with our children. Thanks!


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