I recently had a conversation with my homeschool support group leader and friend, Suzanne. She and I were talking about the importance of building character. What she had to say was insightful and encouraging so I asked her to share what was on her heart. Thanks, Suzanne!
As homeschoolers, we decide to embark on this journey for all sorts of reasons; one that comes to mind is to instill Godly character in our kids. Character has been on my heart lately. We can all agree that academics are important, but without good character it’s all irrelevant.
So what does good and Godly character look like, and how do we go about passing it on to our kids? First, let’s look at what it means to have good character. Our true character is how we act or react when no one is watching. The definition of character is moral or ethical quality. You can have all the smarts in the world, but without quality character it’s likely you won’t have close friends, or will have strained relationships, and we all desire to be accepted by others. The Bible uses the words wisdom, righteous, and integrity when speaking of good character, and has quite a bit to say about it. Proverbs 10:9 says, “The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” When one of my kids has a character issue, I stop everything to redirect them, even if it means math takes a backseat for the day. I try to keep it light and fun, sometimes we act out the right and the wrong way to act. In the end we’re all laughing, but my point has been made.
Now that we know what good and Godly character looks like, how do we get it and instill it in our kids? Well, you don’t just get good character, because we are all born sinners. Character has to be modeled, and taught; this usually starts in the home with mom and dad. Kids model their behaviors after us; they are watching all the time. Now I know we are not, and never will be perfect beings, but if our children see us model ourselves after Jesus, and acknowledge when our behavior is poor, it will become clear to them. If I teach and give Godly instruction, but don’t model this behavior, then I’m nothing more than a hypocrite, and they will see it.
One last thing, without love, it is all done for nothing. Let us instruct and redirect with love. Love=acceptance and peace, and kids want to be accepted.
Colossians 3:14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.