For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Patience and perseverance.

Did I just say patience and perseverance. Wow, these two words are so packed with meaning and weight. If more of us were patient and persevered a bit more, the world most likely would be a different place.

I have always known I was not a patient person. as for perseverance, well, I have my moments. being a parent certainly brings out the presence or lack thereof of these 2 virtues.

But, I am not planning to talk about me. We all know we need to to improve in these areas. The object of this post is about nurturing these virtues in our kids.

As you may know, Zach is learning violin using the Suzuki method. Like any other instruments and anything in life, anytime we learn something, it is about trial and error. Correcting the wrong habit and training ourselves, our fingers, or whatever it is that needs the training, to do the right thing.

Well, this week has been a difficult week for Zach on his violin. He has this technique that he just can't seem to master, or should I say, is having the hardest time to master. I have been bombarded with phrases like "I'll never be able to do it.", "But it is so hard", "I can't do it", "I give up", all mixed with tears.

How do we respond? How do we encourage and challenge?

This got me thinking and I realized how great an opportunity his learning the violin was in teaching him patience and perseverance. When I signed him up in February I was thinking of it as a mean to teach him discipline, but I guess there was much more that could and will be accomplish through that process. He wants to play it, so he will have to be patient and persevere.

I don't think patience and perseverance are things we learned once and then that's it, we got it. They are things we never finish improving on. I am always reminded of Moses, who was the most patient man on earth, and yet he did not get to see the promised land because he struck the rock after losing patience. But,  we
can certainly grasp what patience and perseverance are, and the need to acquire them and aspire at exhibiting them in our life.

At the heart of our impatience is this instant gratification that we are plagued with because of sin. And, we need to fight that. By having to wait we learn to appreciate things better, because of the hard work, or the pain involved while waiting. We learn to depend on Christ for strength and grace. We learn to see how weak we are.

I am certainly humbled as I watched my son struggle to master a technique and his readiness to give up, as I realize how often this is how we adults behave. As I try to encourage him to persevere and work hard in mastering that particular technique, to be patient with himself and keep on, I also realized that I need to work much harder at some things that, frankly, I had given up on, even if done subconsciously.

We have the promises of God in James 1:12, Philippians 3:14, Heb 13:6 and Isaiah 41:13. Let's us garb hold of them and persevere in the task at hand and wait upon the Lord.

The Lord's grace be upon us as we seek to teach out children these important values and attitudes of the Christian faith.

Romans 5:2b-5: And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know thet suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope that does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Have a great day,

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