You don’t have to teach your children how to steal, how to cheat, how to lie or how to be disobedient. That comes very naturally for all children. But you do need to teach them how to be truthful, how to respect authority, how to be kind, how to yield their rights, and how to forgive.
That’s the responsibility of every Christian parent. If God has blessed you with children, then He has given you the responsibility of teaching and instructing them in the ways of God. It’s not the responsibility of the church, the youth leader, or even the pastor; but it’s the responsibility of the Christian home. The Bible repeats time and time again the principle, “teach these things to your children” (Genesis 18:19; Exodus 13:14; Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6; Psalm 78:4-6; Ephesians 4:6).
One of the best ways to teach Godly character is to study one character quality at a time in order to understand its nature, its importance, and its benefits. Attached to today’s posting is a sheet listing 49 character qualities and their definitions. (http://hlm.org/files/CharacterDefinitions.pdf).
Go through that sheet of character qualities and ask each person in your family to list what they think is the ten most important qualities that make a successful family.
List all the qualities they have chosen.
Then put the numbers beside the quality that corresponds to the priority placed on it by each member of the family. For example, if your wife listed “kindness” as her number one priority put a “1” beside it. If your son listed “kindness” as his number three, then put a “3” beside it.
Then add the numbers together to determine your priority list; and the quality with the lowest total should be the first quality you study and learn.
We have created a website to assist the teaching of Godly character to your children. You can find it at www.characterjournal.com. It provides Bible verses, stories, illustrations and games which you can use with younger children. This has also been used effectively with Bible clubs and the AWANA program.
In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…” As you look through that listing of 49 character qualities, all of these qualities are personified in the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot get to know Jesus Christ intimately apart from understanding His character.
There are artists who have painted portraits of Jesus – trying to imagine what He must have looked like. We don’t know what Jesus looked like on the outside, but by studying these character qualities we get a beautiful picture of what He looked like on the inside.