Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Character Training

I know we've talked about having "J.O.Y." ( Jesus, Others, Yourself) in a previous blog but the kids and I have been memorizing a verse that really hides this truth in their hearts. Matthew 22:37-39 says this,

"Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

We need to be continually helping our children ( and ourselves) hide the Word of God in their hearts. They need to know that these aren't just rules we set up, but that God himself did. All of our rules need to have a moral or a safety value behind it and we need to be able to share with our children those values. We need to share the "why" of the rules so that our children can apply them to other situations. For instance, "Bobby, share the toy with Johnny." is instructive but it doesn't allow the child to know "why" he should be nice and share. However, if we have previously taught Bobby the value of loving others and putting others first we can say, "Bobby, are you thinking of others first by not sharing that toy?". We are teaching a value not merely issuing a command. Teaching values is what creates a Godly character. Look for the verses in the Bible that you can teach your children, for they should be the foundation of all character training.


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