Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Ever feel like you’re in a tug of war with your kids?
“Finish your baby carrots, Savannah,” you say to your four-year-old.
“I don’t want carrots.”
“But you need to eat them. And they’re good for you,” you say, trying your best to be positive.
Your efforts fall flat and Savannah stares defiantly at her plate.
“Please eat your carrots. You only have to eat two.”
But Savannah shoves her plates away, crosses her arms, and sticks out her lip.
After five minutes of this back and forth, the carrots lay scattered on the plate, everyone else at the table has finished eating, and you’re tired of bantering.
Who is going to cave first? And really, are a couple of baby carrots worth a serious tug of war?
The older kids get, the tougher the tug of wars get.
I loved having a teenager. Our son was, and still is, friendly and good-natured. But honestly every once in a while I wanted to throw up my hands, walk out of the room, and close the door on any parenting responsibilities. Slinking away would have been so much easier than facing another round of “But why not, Mom, huh?” (Four-year-olds might be strong-willed but fourteen-year-olds have got them beat.)
Encouragement and great advice
Paul probably didn’t have the scenarios above in mind when he wrote Galatians 6:9, but so many times I found this verse encouraging:
“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
It’s so true. What you do at the dinner table, at bedtime, and in the grocery store when you desperately want to get home and your six-year-old desperately wants a box of Mike&Ike’s can “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.” (Hebrews 12:11-13).
That’s what all parents long for, isn’t it? A harvest of righteousness—godly children who love God. A harvest of peace—a home without arguing and complaining and with contentment.
“Therefore,” continues Paul, “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” When the kids are bickering, you’re exhausted and tempted to snap, keep on doing what is right— teaching, training, and disciplining your children. Keep on keeping on and remember your reward: a harvest of righteousness and peace.
Three tips to keep from getting weary when you’re in a tug of war
If you have a best friend, spouse, or small group you can talk these points through with, that would be great.
Remember the rewards. What are the rewards of consistent discipline, of training and teaching your child even when you don’t feel like dealing with a situation?
Be aware of your weaknesses. When (what time of the day or month) is parenting most “tiring” for you? Where is parenting most difficult? (At church, with in-laws) What situations are most difficult for you to handle e.g. whining, defiance, etc.? How do you typically respond when you are tired? (do you dig your heels in, throw up your hands and give up, walk away).
Ask someone to encourage you and hold you accountable. Let that person know what’s most encouraging to you. Ask if you can call him or her when you’re feeling stressed.
Whether you’re talking about carrots of curfew, don’t be weary in doing good. Payday might be a few years down the road, but it’s coming!
When are you most tempted to give up?
What encourages you to keep on keeping on?