“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Godly character does not come naturally to your children – it needs to be taught! You don’t need to teach your children how to steal, lie, cheat or have a temper tantrum; but you do need to teach them meekness, humility, gentleness, kindness, deference, truthfulness, obedience, and forgiveness. These are character qualities that need to be taught. They’re certainly not being taught in the schools. They need to be taught in the home.
I wanted to share with you a little exercise which we enjoyed when our children were younger. It helped teach the Christ-like qualities of meekness and humility, and helped prevent some of the squabbling that takes place between siblings.
Every once and a while, we had a special competition during our morning devotional time as a family – it was called “Peacemaker of the Day.” I would announce to the children that Mom and I were going to be on the lookout for those who demonstrated the characteristics of a peacemaker. A special reward was to be given to the one who…
• gladly and willingly shared his toys
• yielded his rights rather than fighting for them
• praised and encouraged others (rather than being mean and critical)
• took the initiative in serving (without having to be asked)
• obeyed immediately and sweetly (not having to be asked a second time and with a good attitude)
• showed honor and respect (no back talk or attitude)
• demonstrated manners (saying “Thank you” at the dinner table)
Carefully explain each of the characteristics above to your children and let them know what is expected of them. The next morning, have them nominate their siblings by sharing how they saw each other demonstrate Godly character. Mom and Dad make the final decision on who is awarded the coveted prize.
Make the reward big – at least in their eyes. You’ll be amazed at how the younger children will respond to this challenge.
Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries