A personal word of wisdom from this writer: in order to finish well, you must have the time, energy, ability, commitment, and motivation to support your goal. There is no joy in being spread so thin that you can't enjoy the fruits of your labor. Therefore, evaluate your children's interests and talents honestly. Teach them to "press on" under reasonable expectations. Encourage them to finish a project or sport season in order to know the joy of fulfilling a commitment, but don't provoke them to wrath in the process.

Teach them the value of competition.
You don't have to be an exceptional athletic or know everything about a sport to teach your children the value of good sportsmanship. The best horsemanship instructor I ever had was a crippled, old man under five feet tall. I never once saw him mounted on the lofty Saddlebred horses which he made me ride, and yet, he taught me more about being a confident, courageous equestrian than I ever learned from previous instructors which could ride. Don't be intimidated by what you don't know or can't do.

I believe God has instilled a desire for achievement in most everyone. It is natural for people to want to measure their level of skill, knowledge, or strength, even if its against their own standard. This also is part of God's design. Teaching your children how to use competition in a healthy manner, and demonstrating it in your own life, will have a positive effect on their spiritual lives as well.

Learning these principles from the Word of God will enable your children to be righteously competitive; furthermore, the value of your teaching will carry over into your children's everyday life. Learning perseverance and patience, and "laying aside" the weights of the world will benefit them the rest of their days. The rewards are truly worth the investment.

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Pastor Timothy Palla and his lovely wife Jennifer live in McDermott, Ohio with their five children: Drew, Dane, Aidan, Ethan, and Meghan. You may contact him at tpalla@rocketmail.com.