The other day, my wife and I were watching Dr Adrian Rogers as he talked about the virtues that parents should teach a child. This message was so profound to us as we have 3 beautiful children and we are always yearning to know how to build good character in them for life. We really want to minimize the challenges they have as they grow up.
The family is the first school of virtue, so make sure you’re schooling your child in the lessons of character.
The best way to teach character is through example. That premise still stands up today. Children are great imitators, so let’s give them something great to imitate. Let’s model what we hope our children copy.
Parents are their children’s first and most important moral teachers.Though our children are hard-wired to become empathetic, honest, compassionate people, unless the habits of goodness are nurtured moral intelligence can lie dormant. Patterns of behavior can be attributed to what kids are seeing in the home. When kids can’t discern the difference between right and wrong as modeled by their parents, those blurred lines don’t get any clearer as kids grow into adults. The process of cultivating virtue in our children begins at home — with mothers and fathers loving one another and being active in their children’s lives. Being present often means making sacrifices.
My wife sacrificed her career temporarily and has taken care of all 3 of our children full time because we made a choice not to entrust “the help” with the primary responsibility of rearing our children. We are both hands on parents and we don’t subscribe to over delegating parental responsibilities like bathing the children, feeding them and spending quality time with them. But presence, as important as that is, is not enough. Talking through real-life situations with your kids could help them make wise decisions in their lives.
Respect , kindness, honesty, courage, perseverance, self-discipline, compassion, generosity, dependability. These are important virtues we all want our kids to master.
One of the most important things you can do is set a good example for your children. They learn from seeing how you treat them, overhearing your interactions with others and observing what you do in different situations throughout the day.
If you want your children to exhibit values like honesty, self-respect and compassion, then you need to show these qualities yourself. All the teaching in the world can be undone if your children watch you behave in ways that contradict what you’ve said.
Plan some Bible studies with your children, each exploring a different moral virtue. You might do a study one week on honesty or gratitude, and then the next week read what Scripture has to say on compassion, gentleness or generosity. Help your children see that what you’re teaching them about right and wrong is not simply your own ideas, but comes from God’s Word.
Deuteronomy 5: 6-7 ” And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Wilbert Frank Chaniwa – @wilbertfc