Of all the character flaws that I possess, the greatest is a lack of perseverance. Giving up is easier than enduring, or so it seems in the moment.
Ironically, the times when I do demonstrate perseverance are not good. I persevere in my anger when I feel I have been wronged. I persevere in my parenting attempts, even when I can see that they are failing. But I fail to persevere when it matters the most.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (that is, the stories of victory we have seen through faith in God), let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2a
I have to stop persevering in my sinful ways and start enduring the battles with Christ as my co-pilot.
“We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:2b-5
If I don’t allow my sufferings to shape my character into something Christ-like, I’m not only cheating myself but those around me. I think specifically of my role as mom. It’s a role I struggle to embrace and yet God keeps reminding me it’s his plan for my life and he is using it to shape and mold my character into a perfect reflection of himself. Then, as he makes me more like himself, my children will begin to see the person of Jesus; that they too may become like him.
I am going to start living in victory instead of defeat. I am going to endure the struggles of parenting small boys so that my victories can become their victories. Society is seeking to crush the traditional role of a man, but we will continue to fight against them and raise boys who are full of Godly character. I want my sons to be an example to the world of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And the hard reality is, those traits begin with me.
So I vow to start enduring the right things. I will endure in discipling my children. I will endure in seeking Godly wisdom. I will endure in my prayers for victory. Finally, I will cling tight to the promise of Romans 5; that my perseverance will pay off and I will live in the victory of God’s love poured out in my life.
The journey is going to be hard, but the destination will be worth it!