If I ask you what is the most important area to teach your kids, what would you say? Probably not “character building”.
Instead, many parents would say things like . . . .
- How to read … you need to read to learn anything
- Math & Science … we live in a techno world
- Church History … don’t repeat the mistakes of the past
I would counter with these responses and say character building is the most important activity a parent should be doing as they raise their children. How can you build character God’s way?
# 1: Use God’s Word as Character Building Standard
You know the Bible is where start to build character, but how do you do it? Let me share what we did as we raised our children to follow God.
When our kids were young
Before my kids could read and understand on their own, I chose 2-5 verses about the character quality we were working on. When they started sinnning (OK, let’s call it what it is: sin). When they started sinning, we sat down and I read a few of the verses about that sin.
Then, I asked what God has to say about their behavior. This took the consequences off my shoulders and laid it on God’s shoulders. Let me tell you. God can handle all that you lay on His shoulders.
This allows you time to talk with your child about their behavior and God’s desire for their actions, all based on the Bible, God’s Word.
When our kids got older
As they grew up, I asked them to read the Bible verses on their own, without my interpretation. Here’s how it played out.
If two of the kids were arguing, I asked them to go read 3-5 verses about arguing and write down what they learn from those verses. I gave them a list of verses.
When they finished reading on their own, we discussed what they wrote down and how to move forward following God. It’s not complicated. It’s actually simple when you use the Bible to build character.
# 2: Consistency is Vital
If I’m honest with you, I got tripped up on the consistency aspect of character building. I wouldn’t enforce a consequence immediately. Or, I’d completely forget about blessing my children when they were obeying God. Both are vital to building Godly character in your children.
One way you can be consistent and follow God’s Word is by writing out blessings and consequences ahead of time. When they argue, “this” is what happens. When they make peace with each other, “this” is what happens.
Write down your blessings and consequences right now. Post it on the refrigerator so everyone knows what is expected. When they are making peace, go to the frig and read what happens. When they are arguing, go to the frig and read what happens.
To make it even better, include a verse by each consequence and reward. Your kids will realize what you wrote down is based on God’s Word.
# 3: True Character Building Begins in the Heart
Personally, I wish I had spent more time and energy on my children’s hearts. Behavior modification is great, especially when based on the Bible. But what we really want is our children’s hearts to be lined up with God’s heart.
To reach your child’s heart, you need to build a relationship with each child. Just like you and me, we all respond differently to our circumstances. Pay attention to your child’s attitude, facial expressions, and reactions. These will be cues on how you can move forward in tending your child’s heart for God.
Character building is the foundation of raising your kids to lead for Jesus Christ. I believe it’s the most important area you can teach your kids while they are living in your home. That’s why I’m offering you a free sample of my Character Training Mini Charts. They are based on Bible verses and will help you be more consistent in your character training of kids.
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