Grit = perseverance, steadfastness, inner drive, unwavering determination, failure to give up despite hardship
You can find plenty of books, TED talks, articles, podcasts and blog posts on the topic of grit. Everybody is fascinated by it. It’s an admirable quality we all want, an advantageous character trait that will serve you well in society.
So what’s the secret? Why do some people seem to have more of it? What makes them gritty? And the big question: can you grow in grittiness?
I believe you can.
In my case, my lens is a Christian one, meaning, I view the world through His Story. In a nutshell: a perfect and loving God created us in His image so that we could enjoy intimacy with Him. But we chose to fracture that relationship by rejecting His authority and pursuing our own interests while rejecting His. Yet He has provided a way back to Him through His Son’s perfect sacrifice on the cross. Like a tender and compassionate Father, He does not demand that we return, but gently woos and whispers to our hearts of His everlasting love.
Practically speaking, here’s how this plays out in my own life:
Grit means being the first to move towards him, even if I feel like I’m the one who’s been wronged.
Grit means pressing in when I feel hurt or misunderstood or unappreciated.
Grit means considering his needs above my own.
Grit means not expecting tit-for-tat.
Grit means choosing to be faithful despite my feelings.
Grit means forgiving, really forgiving, and not using past hurts to punish or hurl back at him at a later time.
Grit means accepting the flawed nature of my partner, yet believing in the beautiful person they are becoming, as God works in their life.
Grit means getting down low and gently looking into their eyes when they are hurting or complaining or throwing a fit and saying, “I love you,”but also calling out what is not good, what is sin, by teaching them “this, not that.” Kindness, not mean-spiritedness. Forgiveness, not resentment. Self control, not anger.
Grit means not yelling in anger or berating them or shaming them even when their behavior makes me feel entitled to do so.
Grit means modeling repentance by confessing my sin and my need for forgiveness.
Grit means pressing through the hard days when everyone feels whiny and tired and at odds with each other.
Grit means being present for my kids, not checking out by staring at my phone or whatever my source may be.
Grit means wisely scheduling our family’s time, not overloading our schedules.
Grit means not turning to busyness to cover up the need to escape from my kids, to escape from the daily challenge of parenting.
Grit means saying no to friends or fun social activities when I know it will affect my energy or my time with my family.
Grit means filling their minds with good stories, full of hope and redemption and love, rather than sticking them in front of the TV.
Grit means being wise when it comes to what messages they are being exposed to and how to give them a godly lens on life.
Grit means entering into their world, seeking to understand what makes them tick, what they love, and who they are as unique little people.
Grit means taking notice of them. Being aware when they are hurting, when they need some quiet time with Mommy, when they are tired and just need a good cuddle.
Grit means responding in love and gentleness to them even when everything in my body tells me I have a right to scream at them.
My Personal Life
Grit means getting up and spending time with God even when I’m tired, because I know He is my true source of strength and joy.
Grit means striving to keep a tidy and orderly house because it speaks love to my husband and my kids.
Grit means saying no to frivolous purchases I know I don’t need.
Grit means seeking to fill my mind with good stories and protect myself from worldly messages that darken my heart and lead me away from godly thinking.
Grit means knowing how to balance my emotions on the days that I am struggling with anxiety or depression or moodiness or irritability or fatigue; how to give myself grace, yet not fully rely on my emotions as truth, because I know how fickle my heart and emotions can be.
Grit is accepting that life is hard, that there will be heartache and tiresome days and whiny kids and challenges in marriage.
Grit is not demanding that things come easy, that I deserve to be happy every second or get ‘me time’ every time I need it or have peace and quiet because I just hate the chaos.
Grit means pressing into the hard because I have Jesus, who loves me and empowers me to endure the race.
Grit is hoping in what is to come.
Grit is putting one foot in front of the other even when I think I just can’t anymore.
Grit is looking to Jesus and longing for heaven, a Kingdom where will be made new, free from aches and pains and sadness and because we will get to enjoy a perfect and loving relationship with Him.