We chose a Classical, Christian, College Preparatory school for many reasons. We chose the rigor, the challenge, and high expectations for our children. We don’t want the easy road for them; we pray they will choose the road less traveled. The road that teaches perseverance, helps them learn to problem solve, and makes them question who they are and what they stand for. When they graduate, we want them fully prepared to defend their faith and shine the light of Christ wherever they go. We want them to develop GRIT. But sometimes I wonder: Do we place too much pressure on them to succeed? They are just children, after all.
As parents and teachers, I believe there’s a fine line we must walk between offering our students GRACE without compromising their GRIT. What happens when our students fail? How long should we keep pushing them until we stop, take a step back, and look into their weary eyes with love and grace?
What is GRIT? Firmness of character; indominable spirit (synonyms: resolution, fortitude, courage)
How can we give GRACE without sacrificing grit?
- Tell children it’s ok to make mistakes because that’s how we learn and grow. Admitting mistakes takes courage. (This is grit.)
- Tell children it’s ok NOT to be the best at everything. Our students need to understand God created them each with unique gifts and talents. Teach them to hone those gifts and use them to glorify God. This takes resolution and spirit. (This is grit.)
- Applaud effort and character rather than end results. Read Colossians 3:23 together and teach children God is pleased when we work at something with all our heart. (This is grit.)
- Share your personal weaknesses with children. Tell them about times in your life when you failed or had to overcome something difficult. Read 2 Corinthians 12:9 together and teach them how God grants us wisdom and power through our weaknesses. (This, too, is grit.)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor. 12:9 (NIV)
Try as we might, we will not reach perfection this side of heaven. It is only through the realization of our weaknesses that we learn to fully depend on God. He wants to extend His gift of grace to us, but we must learn (and teach our children) to accept this gift. We must learn only God can fill the gaps where we fall short. Let us come (and bring our children) humbly to the cross today.
Prayer: Father, we ask You to fill the gap today. In the areas we are weak, make us strong. May our shortcomings offer a place for Your mighty power to move. Use our family as a vessel for Your kingdom. Give us courage and tenacity of spirit as we lead others to You. Help us shine Your light and spread Your love by offering grace. Amen.