I planned to go on to Teaching Tip #2, but wanted to share a story about character development for kids.
When I think back on the times my kids were here at home, there are a few character flaws that come to mind:
…. which all stem from Selfishness!
If I could get at the root of selfishness, I could instill godly character in many areas of life.
What a huge task!
I remember my girls arguing (loudly) in their room when they were 4 and 6 years old. At the time, I allowed them to argue because I thought they should learn to work it out on their own.
Looking back, I’m not sure that was the best way to handle their contention. They were only 4 and 6 years old.
First, I should have said a quick prayer, asking God to give me the right words to say. Somehow, I didn’t think of praying in the heat of the moment.
Then, I should have calmly walked into their room to find out what they were arguing about. As you might guess, one wanted their own way and the other wanted a different way. Selfishness at its finest.
Find a verse or two that you know by heart. One that will apply to your kids’ selfish heart. Here’s one that just about covers it all:
These six [things] the LORD hates, Yes, seven [are] an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness [who] speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19
Notice that the 7th is an abomination – sowing discord. In other words arguing & contention is an abomination to the Lord. He HATES it. All 7 of these stem from being selfish, wanting our own way.
Calmly (remember that quick prayer to stay calm) explain to your kids that God hates selfishness which is why you are arguing (or lying or looking proud or disobeying or whatever sin it is). God wants us to be humble and think of others as more important than ourselves.
Then, memorize Philippians 2:3-5 so you can say it together after working through (or disciplining) the situation.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:3-5
Many times when my girls were arguing or disobeying, I reminded them that they were being selfish and not obeying God.
Did they change instantly? No!
But they have changed over time and they do look out for each other now. Of course, they still get in a few arguments, but overall they try to think of others first.
If you would like more info about character building, my favorite resource is For Instruction in Righteousness. You can read my review here. This excellent resource is part of an easy-to-use parenting package here.
Tomorrow I’ll share specific ways I inspired my children to love learning. When your kids love learning and become curious, they will learn for a lifetime. Find out how tomorrow.
Question: How do you deal with selfishness & arguing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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