“I’m gonna quit this stupid gym. Working out doesn’t do any good. Yesterday I worked out for two hours. I didn’t lose a single pound and today I look the same as yesterday. What a waste of time!”
A two-hour gym session, no matter how intense, isn’t going to get us in shape. It’s a process. It takes time and consistency. We’ll have good days and bad days. We’ll have days we can hardly drag ourselves to the gym and days we’re excited and motivated to work out (OK, to be honest, I’ve never had an “excited, motivated” day).
But the point is, staying fit is a process. It has its ups and downs and often has few immediately visible rewards. To be successful we have to keep our eye on the long-term goal of feeling and looking better.
Parenting is also a process. It has its ups and downs. There’ll be days you’ll wonder if you’re going forward or backwards.
Will my kids ever learn to get along with each other?
Will they ever start picking up after themselves without being told?
Will they ever become a housebroken human being that I can release into society?
About the time you start bragging about how great your kids are they do something so boneheaded you wonder why you had kids in the first place. It can seem like you take three steps forward and two steps back – or four back.
That’s why it’s important to keep a long-term perspective. Remember the goal and remember it doesn’t happen overnight.
Most baby animals leave the care of their parents a few weeks or months after birth. There’s a reason God made baby humans dependent upon us for decades. Humans are made in the image of God, which means there is a spirit that needs to be trained.
It’s not enough that our kids learn to eat and survive. We’re training an eternal spirit so naturally it takes longer than just training for physical survival.
Don’t be discouraged if you some days you don’t see any progress. Don’t be discouraged if it looks like some years you don’t see any progress. Like building a healthy body, building a spiritually healthy child is a long-term process.
Is it worth it? I can’t guarantee that building a healthy body is worth the pain but from experience I can guarantee that building a spiritually strong family and children is worth any sacrifice. In fact, once you enjoy the results you’ll find it wasn’t any sacrifice at all.
Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.
1 Timothy 4:8