Written By Renee Bryant
Noah didn’t learn the character trait of obedience when he began building the ark. His Character was developed long before. Strength of character takes years to cultivate. Want to instill biblical character in your children? Let them see godly examples, learn to use character-building words, and practice doing the right things!
Learn from Biblical Examples.
There’s a connection between the example of Enoch walking with God in Genesis 5 and Noah walking with God in Genesis 6. Enoch was Noah’s great-grandpa. Noah didn’t have Scripture. He only had communication with God and the example of his parents and grandparents. Kindergartners often mirror and magnify the behavior of others. Your example is the most influential. It must be consistent with what you say. Support character stories with Scripture or songs that also reinforce biblical character traits.
Learn to Embrace Hard Times
Our faith is built by seasons of testing. A big test is often preceded by smaller ones. Would it be wrong to surmise that Noah may have faced less-challenging trials while his faith was young and more difficult ones as his faith grew stronger? With each trial, God revealed more of how trustworthy he is. When it was time for Noah to build the ark, Genesis 7:5 says that he was willing to do all that the Lord commanded him. Highlight God’s care or provision in little things. Say: “We can trust God” and “Look what God did!” Help your child connect God’s actions with His attributes.
Learn from Historical Figures
Abraham Lincoln’s mothers instilled the virtues of honesty and compassion…and sowed the seeds of his intellectual curiosity.1 Although she died suddenly when Lincoln was nine, testimony given later by Lincoln’s stepmom was a testament to previous nurturing. She said that he was a model child. Lincoln’s mother must have purposed to take advantage of every teachable moment and address inappropriate behavior early, laying the groundwork for his life of integrity. Use Character words daily; highlight acts of character such as saying: “You chose kindness! Thank you for being dependable.” Create or capitalize on opportunities to practice being respectful, taking responsibility, and forgiving others.
Plan to Try
Character development takes time and follows an expected progression very similar to a child’s physical development. Because a child must first crawl and then walk, each new skill must build on its predecessor. If a child doesn’t progress physically, we become concerned about developmental delay. Why is it then, that we protect our children from experiencing the next step of character challenge which is the catalyst to their character development? Allowing a child to face his challenges is the only way emotional resiliency and strength of character can be developed.
We’re not always going to get parenting right. Fortunately, while children are growing, there is still time to instill biblical character by showcasing godly examples, using character-building words, and practicing doing the right thing.
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