3 Things My 11-year-old Has Taught Me About Commitment

Most days, I spend my days teaching my kids. I gently correct. I explain things. I give advice. But in this process of teaching my kids, I often find that I learn as much as they do.

The other day, my older daughter taught me a lesson about commitment. Two weeks ago, she came home from her youth small group at church and told me they had set goals for the amount of time they wanted to spend reading the Bible. She set her goal at 20 minutes a day.

My original thought was that that was a lot of time for an 11-year-old to commit to her quiet time. I wasn’t sure she would be able to do it. Yet every day since then, she has set aside 20 minutes to spend concentrated time reading her Bible and keeping a journal about what she’s learning. If she has to take her Bible in the car to read it on the way to soccer practice, she does. If she has to stay up an extra 10 minutes before going to bed, she does. If she has to put aside other things to do it, she does.

And I am impressed and humbled by her commitment. How often do I set aside my time with God because I’m too busy? How often do I say, “I’ll get to it later” and then never do? It’s taken the commitment of my 11-year-old to make me realize how not committed I am to spending time in God’s word.

So, here’s what I’ve learned from my daughter about commitment:

1) You can commit to do more than you think you can. Twenty minutes was a big commitment for my daughter. That’s a lot of time out of her day, and she doesn’t really like reading. Yet, when her leader asked them to stretch, that’s what she did.

2) Accountability is the key to keeping a commitment. My daughter’s small group is holding each other accountable.  They have to report in every week. Knowing that keeps my daughter on track.

3) God honors commitment. I see my daughter learning and growing in ways that I can’t teach her. God is using that time she’s dedicated to Him to grow her spiritually. She is a living, breathing example of Isaiah 55:11, which says “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

My daughter has inspired me to make a more committed effort to spend time with God each day. My starting goal is the same as hers, 20 minutes each day. Is there something that God is asking you to commit to today? If so, make the commitment and find some accountability (you can even ask your kids to hold you accountable) because God will bless your commitment to Him.