If you give your baby a bite of peas for the first time, she may spit it out. The second, third, fourth time, you’ll get the same reaction. Most of us parents assume by the third or fourth time that our children won’t ever eat a food, and we essentially stop offering it, but pediatricians say that it sometimes takes ten to twenty times of offering a food to a child before they like it.
The first time you decide to have family devotions, your children will probably be like ours and wiggle, cry, and talk the whole time. It might take a month before they figure out how to snuggle up to daddy and listen to him talk and read. It might take a year before your toddler starts answering questions; one of our children took this long.
In fact there are a number of situations where persistence in parenting pays off. We want to see instant results, and we assume something doesn’t work after two or three failed attempts. At the same time, we know enough to know that saying enough is enough can be a wise option, like when we recently put our youngest back in the crib. I’ve been wondering lately, what biblical principles help me know when I should be persistent? Since persistence isn’t a Bible word, is there a Bible word equivalent? What guidance do I need when I should not be persistent?