If we want to raise Godly children and pass on a rich and meaningful family legacy to future generations, they need to discover a set of virtues to live by. At first glance, this may appear a bit challenging since there are so many virtues to pick from. Children do not need a long list to become humble leaders in their family and society. So where do we start?
The best place to start is to demonstrate the virtues that you live by and share when you fail and succeed.
Maybe you are like most of us in that you don’t think about how you act or how you communicate. I get that. But, today, with the barrage of ungodly virtues that our children are exposed to, we desperately need to be vocal and consistent.
Virtues are like a road map to a life filled with inner joy and God’s blessings.
There are men in the past that tackled the question about virtues head on.
Aristotle had twelve virtues that he taught and tried to live by. He explained the virtue, and it’s deficiency in terms of a vice. His list was: Courage, Temperance, Liberality, Magnificence, Magnanimity, Proper ambition, Patience/Good temper, Truthfulness, Wittiness, Friendliness, Modesty, Righteous indignation.
Ben Franklin had his “book of virtues” which was never published. He tracked his progress with a chart in which he would put a red dot for each fault against each virtue committed that day. His list included: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity, and Humility (which he added when a friend told him that he was a bit proud).
Bill Bennett wrote a massive 800-page book of virtues that told story after story demonstrating the ten virtues that he found important to live by. It is a great book to read to young children. It will give you many stories for bedtime. His list includes: Self-Discipline, Compassion, Responsibility, Friendship, Work, Courage, Perseverance, Honesty, Loyalty, and Faith.
I don’t think you can go wrong with any of these examples of virtues, but I still find them difficult to teach, share and stick with.
So what is an easy way to demonstrate your Godly virtues to your children and those around you that will stick?
Paul wrote that Jesus came to demonstrate how God wanted us to live our lives. He came to teach one great commandment. Paul tells us how to do it. Paul’s instruction is easy to teach, easy to refer to and easy to demonstrate.
Teach your children about LOVE!
So what does Paul say about love in 1 Corinthians 13?
- Love is patient
- Love is kind
- Love does not envy
- Love does not boast
- Love is not proud
- Love is not rude
- Love is not self-seeking
- Love is not easily angered
- Love keeps no record of wrongs
- Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth
- Love always protects
- Love always trusts
- Love always hopes
- Love always perseveres
There is nothing more influential or more determinant in a child’s life than the power of our quiet example of love.
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By Joe Sturniolo
Christian Family Legacy and Wealth Planning
Joe believes that stronger families are the vehicle God uses to bring
about significant impact for His Kingdom.