We all have days when quitting would be a whole lot easier than being persistent.

Last fall that pretty much described me. I worked for hours on an article last fall and was so frustrated! I reworked every sentence and every paragraph and so many times felt absolutely stuck. Calling it quits in so many ways seemed easier than being persistent.

Sometimes you just want to…
Give up on trying to lose the weight that you gained over the holidays,
Give up on an answer to prayer you’ve been waiting for,
Give up on the promotion you’ve been working toward,
Give up on trying to smooth things over with a friend who misunderstood what you said.

Being persistent can be tough.

Kids aren’t any different; they feel the same way. When they’re discouraged about a tough spelling word or feel like giving up on a friend who’s hurt them, quitting can come easy.

So use this family devotional to encourage kids not to give up but to keep on being persistent.

1 – Start with this woodpecker video or game

Introduce the topic of persistence by watching this time-lapse woodpecker video. Fascinating!

Or, if your kids would rather DO than WATCH, play the game below.



Collect as many marbles frozen inside ice cubes as you can before the timer runs out
  • Freeze marbles (You could use Legos or a small toy too) into sections of an ice cube tray. The more individual ice cubes with marbles the better.
  • Once marbles are frozen, give your kids a small cup and challenge them to fill their cup with the most marbles.
  • Tell kids they can decide how to melt the ice cubes to get the marbles out of the ice cubes.
  • Start the timer and begin!*

2 – The Persistence Connection

Persistence pays off!

The woodpecker’s reward was a nice juicy bug hidden inside the tree. Its second reward was a big hole for a new home.

Your “marble” reward was having some fun and maybe having the most marbles in your cup.

In both cases, persistence pays off.

It’s not always easy to keep going and not give up.

When you’re putting together a puzzle,
When you’re learning to tie your shoe,
When you’re perfecting your slapshot in hockey,
When you’re waiting for a prayer to be answered,
you might feel like quitting.

I know I’ve felt like quitting before. [Parent, share one time when you felt like giving up.]

Have you ever felt that way? [Ask your son or daughter for a time when it was hard to keep at it.]

3 – Remember Why You Started

God says he rewards those who work hard and don’t give up.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord…since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Colossians 3:23-24).

Let’s not get tired of doing what is good (Galatians 6:9).

The people who keep on keeping on are called “overcomers” in the Bible. And all of them will get amazing rewards in heaven. But you don’t have to wait until then for a reward.

Here are some “now” rewards. Can you think of any more?

Working on a complicated math problem. Reward? A solved problem and a skill that’ll help you pass the next test.

Working a new puzzle. Reward? A complete picture to look at and an advantage at doing another puzzle again.

Perfecting your free throw. Reward? A chance to score when your team is down next time.

And always the great feeling that you actually stuck with something. Satisfaction!

Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Stay with it. Persistence pays off!

Putting Persistence Into Practice

  • Share one thing with your family that you’d like to follow through on. What’s one thing you want to learn, do, or not give up on?
  • What helps you feel like NOT quitting?
  • How could you encourage someone who’s feeling like they want to quit?

*Game courtesy of creativeyouthideas.com

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