Several months ago I posted an article called Mirror Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Best Mom of All? At the end of that article I mentioned 4 “must dos” for moms. If you missed that article you can read it here: Mirror Mirror
The first “must do” was: DISCIPLINE
The second one: TEACH GOD’S WORD DILIGENTLY
Today I’ll be talking about the third “must do”:
TRAIN OUR KIDS IN GODLY CHARACTER
This is one of my favorite topics, and something I am passionate about! I am SO glad that when my husband and I first started homeschooling 28 years ago, we were blessed to hear a speaker at a homeschool conference that stressed the importance of training our children in character. It’s so easy to make sure that our kids are well educated in the academics, and that they develop skills in music or sports, while neglecting the vital area of character training. Character is one of the most important things that we can develop in our children. However, it’s also a difficult and demanding job. As parents, it is our responsibility to work hard at helping our children develop and grow in character. We are the best equipped for this job because we love them more than anyone else, and we know them best. We need to get excited about and have a vision for raising a generation of young people with good strong Christian character, who will stand out in the world, and be used of God.
Romans 13:14 says, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.” This is a good definition of character – Christ-likeness. This must be VERY important to God, as this is a command. And of course, God equips us with the best resource for doing the job of teaching this – His Word.
I’m going to share three important ways that our children learn character.
1. Our children learn character from EXAMPLE OR SOCIAL EXPOSURE..
Our children are influenced by every experience in life. It’s important , therefore, to guard and protect them from the wrong examples and influences in their formative years, while giving them positive role models, and setting an example for them by our own lives. Our kids become what we are. It doesn’t matter WHAT we say or teach – it’s what we DO that influences them the most.
2. Our children learn character through DISCIPLINE.
When your child acts wrong, or shows wrong behavior or attitudes, look at this as an opportunity to teach and train. I already touched on this in the post: Not THAT Stuff Again!
Let me just remind you again, that we shouldn’t let those chances go. It’s easy to get busy or distracted, and miss a great opportunity to point our kids to what God’s word says about their behavior, and to train them in Godly character. If you have a difficult child, you are blessed with even MORE opportunities a day to shape their character with each occasion that training or discipline is needed. By the way, the more time you spend training, the less time you should have to spend disciplining. Teach your kids what is expected or allowed, then require the right behavior.
3. Our children learn character through PLANNED, POSITIVE CONSTRUCTIVE TEACHING.
This is the KEY. Don’t leave it to chance, but make plans to purposely teach your children to be like Christ-like. Have daily character lessons when you teach them different character qualities, what they mean, examples from the Bible of that quality being shown in a negative or positive way, and the results of the negative or positive behavior in that area. Tell true to life stories relating to different character qualities. (Like the time I wasn’t “attentive” in school, and failed the test as a result.)
We have opportunities daily to speak of character traits like kindness, perseverance, honesty, initiative, diliegence, etc. These are words the kids should be very familiar with and hear often.
Think of the character training that our soldiers receive, and the discipline involved. Then think – we’re raising Christian soldiers for the Lord. What a job – what an opportunity! Let’s raise a mighty army for the Lord!
(If you are looking for resources to help you train your children in Godly character, check our out CHARACTER STORE for some of my favorite resources that we have used over the years with our family!)