As parents, we focus a great deal of our time and energy on our children’s educations. We spend hours pouring over proper grammar, reading comprehension, engaging science experiments, unrevised history, math, social studies, and more. We invest so much to make sure they have a solid education.
That being said, how much more important is it to teach character to our children?
One of my favorite Bible studies with my children has been of 2 Peter, specifically 2 Peter 1:5-12. It propelled us into a study on the character traits that God wants to see in our lives, and a challenge to our family to demonstrate those traits on a daily basis.
That lead me to research more about what those character traits are and how we can put them into play in our walk with God, individually and as a family.
Brotherly kindness – we are called to love and cherish each other as brethren, a family in God. Will they show brotherly kindness and reach out to someone who is struggling?
Perseverance- being patient and steadfast, enduring all that the world has to throw at us, yet still focusing on God. When the answers and direction they seek from God seem to take forever, will they wait until they receive His guidance?
Charity- love, affection, and good will. When confronted with people who hold completely opposite views, will they show charity and respond in love?
Temperance- self-control. When confronted with worldly temptations, will they be able to exert self-control and turn away from the temptations?
Forgiveness- letting go of sins as if they had never been commited: remission of penalty. Will they remember just how much God forgives them of on a DAILY BASIS, and, in turn, show that same forgiveness when someone wrongs them. Will they share God’s love through forgiveness?
Faithful- the character of one who can be relied on. Will they be faithful to God, to their family, to studying His word, to keeping their word to others?
Diligence- working or endeavoring with earnestness and zeal. When they set out to do something, will they work diligently as to God and not to men? (Col. 3:23 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”)
Virtue- moral excellence, as modesty, purity. In a world that parades men and women around with very little clothing on, will they choose to dress with modesty? In a world of “if it feels good, do it”, will they remember God’s word as to what is wrong and right?
Knowledge- studying God’s word to gain intelligence and understanding. Will they remember to study God’s word daily to learn, to be guided, and to gain understanding, so that when they are called to give an answer or to share His word with someone, they will be able to?
Godliness- the revealing of gratitude, submission, dependence, and respect because of your relationship with Jesus. Do their manners, responses, language, and actions reflect their relationship with God? Can others see their gratitude? Can others “see” God in their lives without the use of words?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of character traits or examples of revealing them. This is our starting point in our family.
Learning these traits and trying our hardest to exemplify them is not just a challenge to our children, but it is also a challenge Mr. Muscles and I have committed ourselves to.
Every day we learn more about God. Every day we get more opportunities to reveal God and His love to others. Every day I want keep this goal in mind. I can’t just tell my kids how they should act and respond. I have to show them.
What other character traits that you focus on should we add to our list?
In God’s mighty hands,
~~Join us on Yes, They Are All Mine’s FB page!~~