Teaching Our Children Never To Give Up or Give In—Regardless of Life's Circumstances

JT Waresak

Not so long ago, a generation of our ancestors were held socially captive by global war and a historic economic depression. During that national crisis, my grandfather traveled for weeks across the country to find work to provide for his family. I dare not think what our nation would look like today if my grandparents' generation, and their parents before them, had embraced a perspective of not showing up for work when there was work to be done.

These men and women who lived through one of America's most grueling time periods have been dubbed "The Greatest Generation" for a reason. While not perfect, they embodied a moral spirit and a resolve that was reminiscent of the men and women who sacrificed their very lives to found and build this country; and we've all been building our lives upon their blood, sweat, and tears ever since. Sadly, many children today are neither taught these enduring values nor shown them.

America is not perfect, of course—it has its flaws, both past and present. Yet, at its core, our country reflects the relentless passion of a people unwilling to give up or give in; not to mention the drive to make things better—and not just for ourselves, but also our county. As a husband and a dad, I pray I can be a man who lives these ideals, for the sake of my family and my nation.

When it comes to living out these principles, an unwavering will never to give up or give in, and the determination to teach them to my children—it often comes down to one word for me: convictions. My convictions define who I am and how I ought to live. For me, my convictions are established and fueled by my faith in God.

We are assured in the Holy Scriptures that all things are possible with God, and regardless of the circumstances, Jesus will make a way for us (Mark 10:27 & Philippians 4:13). My Dad would often remind me of this truth through this simple saying, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." We applied this precept, knowing it was true because of God's promises. This is why quitting or giving up was never an option in my household. In Christ, our lives are never limited by who we are or the particular circumstances we may face. Instead, our lives have unlimited potential because of the God we serve. We were taught to finish what we had started, knowing always it was God who held the results (as well as received any glory that was in it!).

When one's convictions are rooted and defined by a never-changing God, over time, these life directives become like massive pieces of granite rolling down a mountainside. And the ever-changing cultural norms that strike against them do little to alter their course or impact.

What God has decreed as good is good, and what He calls evil is evil. A life verse that I often share with my family is Romans 12:9. It underscores the truth around God's model of love—it abhors evil and clings to what is right. Because of this truth, we must never give in to a cultural mandate that calls something evil as good. And we must equally express our opposition whenever something good is presented as evil.

Sadly, some Americans want to usher in a new era for our nation—one in which people are told not to work when, indeed, there is much work to be done, provide a handout over a hand up, and seek to call evil good and good evil. These secular and socialistic viewpoints not only contradict who we are as a nation, but they also defy our God-given passion for never giving in or giving up when it comes to those things we hold most dear. 

For the sake of our families and this nation that God has given us to steward, we must boldly choose to fight the good fight even when the going gets tough. By God's grace, my children will embrace this reality of their faith, and over time become those unstoppable boulders of granite that our country and world so desperately need.

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