Parents often tell me that they aren’t sure where to begin or how to start with training their children in character. So today I want want to talk about how to build Godly character when you don’t know where to start!
If you are frustrated with character flaws that you see in your children, unhappy with their lack of Godly character, and unsure of where to even begin to help them develop character, then this post is for YOU!
How to build Godly character when you don’t know where to start:
1. Think about what is frustrating you the most in your child’s behavior right now.
Usually that frustrating behavior goes back to a character flaw.
For example, if you have to tell your kids to something several times before they actually do it, you need to work on the character trait of obedience. If they are always losing things or forgetting things, work on orderliness.
While it is easy to get frustrated or irritated by the behaviors, recognize that it indicates a problem that needs to be dealt with.
There are many character traits that you need to teach your children, but the order really isn’t as important as choosing a trait and getting started.
2. Focus on the chosen trait for a week or two.
The goal is to teach your children what the character trait means, and have daily lessons to study it, then help them learn how to practically apply it in their lives.
Look up Bible stories that show someone who is a positive example of the trait you are working on, and the results of their positive character.
For example, if you are focusing on obedience, you could talk about how Abraham responded when God told him to sacrifice his son.
- Did he obey?
- Did he question God?
- Did he wait to do what God told him to do?
Also look for negative examples — people in the Bible who DIDN’T obey God, and what the consequences of their disobedience were.
3. Make it personal.
Kids LOVE it when you tell personal stories, so whenever you can, tell personal stories that relate to the trait you are studying.
If you are teaching them about truthfulness, perhaps you could tell them about a time when you weren’t honest, and the trouble it brought. This will help them to see the positive reasons to grow in this area, and the positive results that come from it.
4. Provide practical applications they can put into practice.
Have a conversation about how they can apply the specific trait in your home right away.
For example, if you are focusing on initiative, you might encourage them to look for things that need to be done, and have them look for something they can do without being asked, because they see the need.
Pray with them daily about applying the trait to their lives, and growing in that area.
5. Memorize a Bible verse that relates to the trait.
It is important that your kids know that the character traits you focus on are important because GOD says they are, not just because YOU think so, as their parents.
By having them memorize Scriptures that relate to their character, we are getting God’s Word into their hearts and minds. This is turn will help to be more like Christ-like, which is what Christian character is all about!
What is frustrating you the most right now in the behavior of your children? Choose a trait that relates to that, and get started with some character training!
1. Sit down and think about what has recently been frustrating you in the behavior of your children.
2. Determine which character trait that behavior relates to.
3. Make a plan to focus on that trait over the next couple of weeks. This would include giving the a definition of the trait, memorizing a verse about it, and having lessons that show Bible and personal examples about it.
If you need help with planning character lessons, check out Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue and Lads & Ladies of Wisdom Character Curriculum. The lessons take about 10 minutes a day, and require little to no preparation. Your kids will love the role play and games that help make the lessons applicable. Get 4 weeks of free character lessons from these curriculums HERE.