TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. This week we are finishing our series “Cultivating Grit.” We have discussed necessary elements of grit with how to ‘welcome no’ instead of fighting against it and with how to ‘work through disappointments’ by reframing those experiences. Those two elements alone will help your children and yourselves to deal with life and keep moving forward in a positive way. Yet, just like all processes, there is more to grit than these two parts.
Grit is the culmination of passion, resilience, hope, perseverance, and more. The final portion of APA Dictionary of Psychology definition of grit that we started last week ends with: “Recent studies suggest this trait may be more relevant than intelligence in determining a person’s high achievement. For example, grit may be particularly important to accomplishing an especially complex task when there is a strong temptation to give up altogether.” Psychology Today uses the analogy of a marathon versus a sprint to describe grit.
Christ-followers can recognize the characteristic of grit illustrated in 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 -- “Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize. Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable crown. So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air.”
In all of life, setting goals is important, both short term and long term ones. As we discussed in our last two weeks, we will encounter setbacks in reaching our goals just as Jesus told us we would in John 16:33. A saying we used to have hanging on our homeschool classroom wall said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”
So, we must make sure that we prepare our children and ourselves for success by cultivating grit in these five ways
1. Explore the purpose of the activity you are involved in. Ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” And, when appropriate, begin helping your child explore why he or she chooses to do the activities they choose. Sometimes, the answer is, “because I have to.” And, if that is the case, make sure everyone realizes that this is a part of life.
2. Practice doing something again and again in order to become better at it; make sure you are following procedures and rules, if applicable. If a coach or mentor is available, don’t be shy about asking for guidance.
3. Focus on effort, not just accomplishments. Receiving straight a’s is great but it is not the most important thing. Make sure your children know that their efforts matter, and even if they receive a ‘c’ but they tried their hardest, you are proud of them. Of course, challenges help us keep pushing, so encourage them to keep at it and review along the way.
4. And, related to number 3 is this: Praising one another is good, but remember to praise the process. If one of your children is naturally talented in an area and is able to succeed with very little effort, he or she will not have the same level of grit as your child who has had to struggle and keep working hard to achieve the same level of success. One child is not better than the other. Celebrate the differences and celebrate the accomplishments.
5. And, finally, find your passion. Just as we mentioned in #1 that we must stick with things even if we simply must do them, we must always remember that finding what we can be passionate about is so important to withstanding some of the disappointments and being able to cultivate an attitude of grit. If you don’t know your passion, pray. Remember that Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
Shoo, it feels like we could have made two or three more five-minute family devos to explore even more the concept of cultivating grit in your family. However, we are going to close with this. Do you feel like you have failed? Failed at parenting? Failed at work? Failed at school? Relationships? Whatever it is, remember that grit requires sustained, consistent effort and intentionality! God put you in those scenarios, and He uses everything you experience for your ultimate good.
Thank you for joining us this morning. We pray that God will guide you in His calling and you will know the peace of resting in His equipping you for each next situation, whether it goes according to your plan or not. If you want to work on your family relationships, please check out our website at clearviewreteat.org and see if a Family Camp is a good fit for you and yours this summer. Be blessed!