In Hebrews 12:1-2, we're told to run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Do you know what race is set before you? Do you know where the effort of your perseverance is directed?
If you're married mom, you might feel like you're running so hard in the parenting race that you have nothing left for the perseverance marriage requires. Marriage is a race we run during and after the parenting years. If a marriage is only about parenting, it risks collapse when parenting gets hard.
The Greek word for perseverance s hypomone, and is translated as patience, endurance and steadfast waiting. Perseverance, like marriage, involves choice. We choose to have and to hold; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, until death do us part. We choose "to have and to hold" before, during and after the parenting years.
For my husband and me, this became an issue about seven years into our marriage. We'd been trying to get pregnant, but discovered we would never have biological children. We were so focused on building a family though pregnancy that when the doctor said it wouldn't happen, we had to regroup and ask ourselves, "If we can't have a baby, do we still want to be married?"
We bother answered, "Yes!" and it was the best kind of vow renewal. We chose each other during a tough time. We became parents through adoption, but we had at the added benefit of knowing our marriage was about more than parenting.
In order to persevere in marriage, we have to choose each other every day. Sometimes we mess up and we choose the wrong thing. Parenting can become so consuming that we have no energy left for each other. Or we choose our work, our friends or even serving in our church instead of focusing on each other. Other times, we let emotion get in our way. We choose anger, disappointment, fear or guilt instead.
When we stumble in the race set before us, we take our worries to Jesus. Like marriage, perseverance is not a one-time vow. If you don't know what your doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. (James 1:5 MSG)