Finishing What I Started: Getting Through the In-Between Phase of Commitments
“A commitment is an agreement with yourself to do what you said you would do to the best of your ability until it’s over. Don’t commit to something unless you intend to finish it.”
These were the words of Giselle’s dad when she was trying to choose which of two great opportunities to commit to in our story, The Choice: Black or White.
Giselle chose to become a member of the traveling drama team at her Christian school which would travel both inside and outside her home state of Colorado to share the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus. Her drama teacher has purposely targeted impoverished communities. Giselle was commended by her dad for her choice. She considered these five points as she deliberated between the two opportunities and was confident she had made the best choice.
Teach Follow Through
Teaching children to follow through with their commitments is essential if we want them to experience any ongoing personal growth and satisfaction. How many people do you know, both children and adults, who started something but never stuck it out so never received the benefits? Actually, I suppose if we’re honest, we all fall into that category! But I do hope that we have learned along the way, and if nothing else, can tell our kids the “I wish I had finished….” stories along with a number of success stories as well.
Even if we follow the five points when making important decisions, there is no way we can know what lies between the starting and completion of a commitment. Our best anticipations are only guesses. There will always be unforeseen obstacles we encounter. But those obstacles become the very reason we make the commitment in the first place. We are choosing ahead of time to push through whatever roadblocks we encounter, knowing that is precisely when the growth takes place. We learn to embrace the inevitable with the knowledge that, without struggle, we become stagnant and cannot experience the exhilaration of “I did it!”
All kids, need to have regular “I did it!” milestone celebrations. Make a big deal of those moments when your child succeeds at something they had committed to. It doesn’t matter how big or small. If they took it seriously and invested effort and stick-to-itiveness into it, celebrate! Following through with a commitment builds confidence, motivates them to keep improving, and builds a personal reservoir of strength from which they can draw when things get really nasty in life. It’s called character – the stuff that makes us who we are and enables us to stand and achieve when everyone else gives up. It’s what every parent wants for their children because without it, they cannot find purpose in life. It distinguishes them from the masses and allows their individuality to shine.
Invest Your Best into Character Building!
Building good character is like building your home from scratch. You carefully choose the best of all the materials you can afford and, with your own and others’ expertise, assemble each layer so you have a home that is both beautiful and strong, able to last a lifetime. If you put that kind of effort into building a temporary structure, double it when building the eternal structure of character in your children!
Giselle is in that in-between phase of her commitment. It’s getting hard and she wants to skip out. Thankfully, she has a mom who is pointing out all the investments she has made so far and drops hints about why she made the commitment in the first place. It’s definitely proving to be a growing experience for her! What does she do?
Emeth exists to build lasting character. We carefully craft original stories centered around what God has labeled as good character qualities He wants in our lives.
All of our character training stories and curriculum, current and past, are available for you to listen to and view on THIS PAGE.