Written by: Mandy Hill
I was curling my hair recently when I heard my almost three-year-old playing a game on my iPad. He was playing a game that was intended to help him learn the alphabet, numbers and beginning sounds. At some point in his playing he switched from numbers (which he is awesome at!) to the alphabet (which he is just learning). As I was listening to him navigate his way around the letters game I heard him say “No thank you game, too hard for Spenner” and then he switched games.
My heart sunk a little as I heard the defeat in his tone. A few moments later I found him and suggested we work on the letters again, together. He still struggled; but he’s learning. I was thankful for the opportunity to encourage him for a few moments while in the struggle.
The very next day my oldest son shared with me some worries he had been carrying regarding school. He was sick to his stomach every time he gave these worries any thought and begged me to allow him to stay home. After debating back and forth I decided he could stay home. I dropped off our daughter and we started back home. As we grew nearer to our home my son said to me, “Mommy, I feel better already! Thank you for letting me stay home.” I almost instantly made the decision to bring him back to the school. As I pulled back into the school parking lot, I turned around and God gave me these words: “Buddy, I’m sorry, but you have to go to school. I wouldn’t be a very good Mommy if I let you stay home because you are worried. Jesus wants us to trust Him with and persevere through our worries so we become better people. I promise, that every time you trust God to help you persevere through your worry, you’ll become a stronger guy!”
He thought for a bit, and he said “A stronger guy like Jesus??”
I answered, “Yes, buddy. A stronger guy like, Jesus.” He held my hand and we walked into the school together (he was a little late). After I checked him in, he slowly walked himself to his class. He knew in his heart that Jesus was going to see him through the day….but his head was still filled with uncertainty.
I am proud to say he did awesome and finished the day!
It became clear to me this week through these two situations just how easy we sometimes make it for our children to give up. Perhaps we are enabling their eagerness to give up rather than push through without even realizing it. Paul urges us in Romans 5:3 to “rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope.” Jesus delights in our willingness to persevere and He builds our character as we push through our sufferings, [worry, defeat, hurt, pain, etc] also giving us a bright hope for the future.
Jesus was the ultimate perseverer:) He endured the most brutal and painful death to save us from condemnation and become victorious over our eternity! Let’s endeavour to teach our kids to persevere both by encouraging them when they are wanting to give up and by leading by example. (Yes, that means you too have to practice endurance and perseverance! ;))
Jesus, please help us to be better perseverers! Please open our eyes to the moments and situations where our kids want to thoughtlessly throw in the towel, and please give us wisdom in encouraging them down the path of persevering instead. Thank You in advance for the character and hope that You will bring forth because of our choosing to persevere. In Jesus name, amen.