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When Is Best to Build Godly Character in Your Children? It’s Never Too Early

Banner Building Godly Character Intentionally 10 Day Challenge The Character Corner

Praying Biblical Virtues 30 Day

When is best to build Godly character in your children? It’s never too early! In fact, I would say the earlier you begin, the better it is.

One of the best things you can do to build Godly character in your children is start early with a lifestyle that is designed with purpose.

It’s so important to decide when your kids are young where you want them to be in 18 years, and then decide what steps you should take to accomplish those goals in your training.

When is Best to Build Godly Character in Your Children? It's Never Too Early. Find out today!

Do you have a vision for your children, and a list of priorities for reaching those goals?

Often as parents we have vague hopes, dreams, and goals for our child rearing, but we fail to sit down and make a specific list of what our priorities should be.

This was something we failed to do with our older few children — we didn’t really think ahead in much depth. Our hope was to raise our kids to love and serve God, but we didn’t plan how we would get them to that point.

When they were little it was easy to correct them when they were unkind, or practice and train them in obedience. However, as they got a bit older, some of the problems were bigger, and at times we realized that we weren’t sure how to respond or handle the situation.

Soon we realized that the answer to when is best to teach children Godly character is early!

We discovered that if we started early and steered them in a certain direction, it would help them avoid some of the pitfalls. So our younger kids didn’t deal with some of the struggles our older ones did, because we started steering them in the right direction when they were young.

We were more  intentional and purposeful about our parenting priorities. We had a plan to prevent some of the struggles  the older ones dealt with.

Our mistake with the older ones was that we lacked a clearly defined goal for their training when they were little.

I love the way that is explained in one of my favorite parenting books:  Child Training Tips:  What I Wish I Had Known When My Children Were Young.

One of the biggest problems for parents today is that they work hard at training and instructing their children about the Lord and His ways, but lack a clearly defined goal for that training. They know they want their children to know and to have Godly character, but they are not sure what the final product is supposed to look like. It is as though they are baking a dessert, yet don’t know if it is an ice cream cake or a peach cobbler, and they keep throwing in sweet ingredients, hoping the results will be edible. It would be far better for parents to define their goals and then create a plan to accomplish it. There is truth to the saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will always hit it. Christian parents must have a clearly defined target for their children’s growth.”

It really isn’t hard to determine your priorities because God’s Word makes them clear to us. 

Add to your faith, virtue (or character, and to virtue, knowledge.” II Peter 1:5

Our first and foremost priority should be building FAITH in our children.  This involves teaching them about God and His Word, while helping them to develop a love for God and a sincere desire to please Him.

Our next priority should be training our children in Godly character.

When they have the desire to please Him and they love His Word, then we can teach them what it means to be like Jesus, and help them to learn not only what Godly character is, but how they can develop it in their own lives.

After laying the foundation of faith and character when our children are young, they will then be ready for the knowledge or academics. In fact your children will do better in academics because you have built that firm foundation first.

If you think about it, it  makes sense to lay that foundation first for 2 reasons:

  1.  God’s ways are always best, and that’s what HE says our priorities should be.
  2. Your kids will do much better academically if they have first developed some basic character qualities like obedience and attentiveness.

Simple Challenge:

  1.  Sit down with your spouse and talk about what you want to accomplish in your parenting by the time your children are 18.
  2. Write your goals down, so you will have them to refer back to.
  3. Do something TODAY to build your child’s faith and character.

Did you miss the other posts in the challenge? Sign up here and get them delivered straight to your inbox each day!

 

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74 Responses

  1. You are on our my go-to resources for Godly wisdom and experience and advice and help! Thank you!

  2. I appreciate all your helpful insights and especially the reminders to take it all back to Scripture. God has equipped us to be parents if we will take the time to learn what He has to say.

  3. Thank you for your wonderful insight. It will help a grew deal. I want our children to grow in the Lord and have Godly character. I know that I have a lot o of work ahead.

  4. Thank you for the encouragement to be godly, intentional parents.

  5. Thanks! Character is so important and we need great resources for the practicals 🙂

  6. Realizing more every day how important character training and teaching joyful obedience as early as possible is. I have a 5yo, 3yo and newborn and I am trying very hard to catch up on teaching the ‘big boys’ this. I so wish I started earlier, but I’m also trusting that it’s better late than never and that we have to persist in this task as parents even if it is a lifelong process of ‘bringing them to the water’ and not a quick fix to just change behavior.

  7. Thank you very much for this character study. We are implement the character studies with all of our 9 children. I love how you start it with Scripture. 2 Peter 1:5.
    Thank you for all that you do.

  8. I reviewed the sample lesson for Little Lads & Ladies of Virtue Character Curriculum and would love to win the eBook! This appears to be exactly what I have been looking for.

  9. I can definitely see a difference between my first born and her younger siblings. I am sorry to not have trained her from a young age!

  10. This is great information. Being a mom with three young children, I’m grateful to be reading this now before they have grown. Thank you!

  11. We are using Charlotte Mason’s Character/Habit list in our home to help show our children all the traits we want them to have, and also the ones we don’t!

  12. It was a wonderful thing to have found this blog thru a homeschool conference. It has been a huge blessing to me ever since!

    I’m always thankful for the privilege of learning wisdom from others since I didn’t have a wealth of knowledge and memories to just go back to on important topics such as proper child training and homeschooling. Reading articles like these feels like having a cup of coffee with somebody who could relate to your struggles in these areas and having a time tested battle plan of going through it God’s way.

    Thank you Kathie for wonderfully doing the call of the Lord in Titus 2:4-5.

    May God bless you and your family even more.

  13. Thanks for this great reminder. It also reminded me of the importance of referring back to and re-evaluating your plan as you go. I know we made a list and plan but it has been way too long since I have checked in with how we are going. Thanks!

  14. Thank you for sharing your experience… So helpful! and like the other mums it would be a blessing to
    be one of the 3 winners. But God knows everything!!!

  15. What a blessing to see children learning and growing in the Lord when they are young, thank you for encouraging us in this!

  16. Please try to include examples and sources. Thank you.

  17. When I look back, I realize how intentional my parents were in living out the scriptures and making them a part of our lives too. But in those days (the 40s and 50s) there were few distractions technologically speaking. It was while driving in the car that Dad captured the time to teach, especially using music to bring truths alive. The game he created was a simple one: he would say a word like’Light’ and we, one of us 5 children, would find a song with the word. After singing it through, the person who had proposed the song, chose a word and then we would sing the song. The game continued for long periods, going to visit relatives in the country 2 hours away. Not only was there no mischief or fighting in the back seat, but we were learning songs/verses that are still alive in our memories today! How grateful I am for this heritage and long to transmit it to our three grandchildren living with us these days. God is so good and faithful!

  18. I know the best time to train up little ones is now. The struggle is knowing how to do it right without all the other “voices” of family trying to tell me how to do it. Still have a long way to go, but trusting and continuing to pray for God’s wisdom and discernment.

  19. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your stuff! And I’ve been considering which character course to use for my little ones. Would love to win!

  20. This looks really neat. It’s funny, my husband and i were just talking the other night about being more intentional in teaching our kids Godly character. This looks like a great resource!

  21. Thank you for taking the time to invest wisdom in other moms! I believe my parenting has improved since I first visited your site. God’s Word is working in our family!

  22. Thanks for this series. I’d love to win the curriculum for my 3 year old!

  23. I enjoy reading your articles. Once I had faith. I don’t now…but my son and daughter in law do, and I follow you so I can try to honour them and pass on faith and grace to my grand daughter. It would be “a blessing” to have the help of your e book.

  24. I would love some help on how to start to build faith and character in my 4 , 6 and 7 year old kids. Thanks for the post 🙂

  25. Very helpful, thank you! I would love to win the book.

  26. Thank you for the wisdom you are investing in us younger moms. I’ve been strengthened and encouraged in my parenting since I’ve started visiting your site… God’s Word is working in our family!

  27. Our family has already been so blessed by the information you share on here. Thank you so incredibly much for an encouraging ministry to help parents train the future generations to love Christ! Entering to win as well 🙂

  28. Thank you for this opportunity. Yes, I’m realizing that I need to focus on the end-goal. The children are growing up fast.

  29. Thank you for sharing what God has laid on your heart and the experiences you’ve learned from. I know every family is different, but I would love to hear examples of how you worked this out in your life. Any posts on the website I should look for?

  30. Thank you for being an amazing source of truth! I greatly appreciate your help and mentoring. God has used you mightily to help my husband and I get on the right biblical track of parenting. We have a long way to go and many hurts to be healed, but we are purposing to do all HIS way now. If you think of us, please pray for our family as we overcome bad habits and deep hurts from wrong parenting, and pursue the Jesus style parenting and training…and that our children would quickly be receptive as we purpose to do things his way.Thank you for pouring out your life to impact others and encourage us in the truth. You are an amazing blessing and I appreciate you greatly!

  31. So grateful for these articles and your encouragment to build Godly character into my kids! I would love to see an example of your goals for one of your kids, if you’d be willing to share or if they’d allow you to share:) Thanks!

  32. I would love to win this! I started obedience training for my kids today with the chart and am working on not using anger in my parenting. My husband isn’t Christian but he supports how I want to raise the kids. He is also frustrated that our kids don’t obey us the first time. I am hoping that all the teaching and training I do with the kids will help to win over my husbands heart for the Lord as he hears and see glimpses of God’s work in our home. I need all the help I can get for both my children and my husband to see and understand the Lord.

  33. Thanks for the resources! I hope to win one of them! 🙂 I can use all the help I can get! 🙂 God Bless You!

  34. Thank you for taking the time to put together this series for others. This is something my husband and I struggle with daily and it’s a blessing to know that there is encouragement and help with learning how to be able to work towards our desire for our children!

  35. Another wonderful, thought provoking article!
    Thank you!

  36. Thank you, Kathie, for yet another chance to win one of your fabulous products!!

  37. I would love to have this resource. I have been following your site for a little while now & convinced of a need for this in my home of 8 children. Planned on starting back to school with obedience training (something sorely needed @my house!) w/ your obedience charts, but been thwarted by extended sickness- no giving up though! Goal planning seems daunting to me right now w/ an unsupportive husband that won’t allow these kinds of discussions.

  38. I have been enjoying the email series. Thank you so much for this wonderful giveaway!

  39. Enjoying the series. Would find this book a great help. Thank you taking the time to do this series and for the giveaways. God bless you. 🙂

  40. This series has been great so far! I love the practical application questions/challenges at the end of each post. Thank you!

  41. Thank you for this article. I very much agree with setting up goals to train our children in godly character. However, I am finding it a bit challenging to train 5 children who need to be trained in different character. How can I plan to teach different characters at the same time?

  42. This email series is very timely. Thank for the opportunity for a giveaway.

  43. The idea of having specific goals is something I hadn’t considered, but you have wet my appetite to learn how to do this and put more thought into this. Thanks!

  44. Thank you! This would be great to win!

  45. This series is a great reminder that it’s never to early to train the precious ones God has entrusted us with!! Thank you!

  46. Thank you for doing this 10 day challenge. We’ve been working on it daily, actually, multiple times daily with my 4 younger ones. It’s surprising how easy it really is to take just that little bit of extra time in our homeschool day to talk about character. Once we’ve talked about it, it’s just that much easier to address it as our day goes on. Thanks for the great resources!

  47. Your emails are a real blessing to me. I pray that God gives me wisdom to raise God loving children. Would love to win your book!

  48. Love this series, Kathie – thank you! Could you provide more information about the goals you mention? Sounds like a great idea but I don’t know what exactly it looks like. I’m having a hard time fitting character qualities in with SMART goals, so is this more of a priority list of specific qualities (faith, character, etc.) that we hope to see developed in our children?

  49. thanks for your insights into building Godly character. I would love to win your book!

  50. Thank you for the reminder to think about the big picture, as I sometimes get stuck focusing only on surviving the day with a 1 and 3 year old.

  51. Great post! I agree it’s never too early to start.

  52. Thanks for providing this series as I have been trying to figure out what what to do character training wise with my family. It would be great to have the book, too!

  53. Thanks for this post! I will definitely be talking to my hubby about some goals for our children… I can’t stand the idea of having our children grow up to be like some of the teenagers I know, even tho I’m a pretty young mom myself. I really appreciate all your emails and posts Kathy! Thanks so much!

  54. Kathie,

    What can I be doing to help build up my child’s faith? He goes to Sunday school and we set a good Christ-like example for him at home but I am sure we can be doing more to build up his faith a relationship with Jesus. I want him to have a firm foundation, I just don’t know what to do!

  55. Hi Kathie,

    That was a wonderful article on having goals for children. Would you provide some example for goals other than faith and character.
    Thanks for the giveaways!!!

    Regards,
    Pheba

  56. Thank you for teaching about character training! I wish I had known about all this when I first started having my kids 26 years ago. I would love to have your book to work with my younger ones.

  57. what a blessing these daily emails have been!

  58. Thanks for this amazing article. I have learnt on having goals for my kids.

  59. I also have 2 older children (9 and 7) that I wish I started with earlier. I have. 3 and 1 year old that I hope we can do “ better” with. As a working mom, my time feels limited and I want to be more intentional in my training of their character. Thanks for these materials.

  60. Thank you for providing this email series and thank you for the opportunity for the giveaways.

  61. My poor oldest has struggled as well! I am so glad, however, to have some better direction now with parenting. Thank you!

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