I believe the primary responsibility that we have as parents is that of passing on our faith, values and positive character qualities to our children. We are responsible to make sure they not only know about Jesus, but know Him personally as Savior and Lord. We are responsible for teaching them what is right, what is wrong and why. We are responsible for teaching them traits and qualities that will equip them be a help, not a hindrance to society.
Sure, every child is different and comes pre-wired to be selfish, self-centered and self-serving. Some are going to be more apt to please and others are going to display a rebellious streak. Some will catch on early to what you teach while others may not come around until later. However, I really believe that the principle of scripture is something that we as parents can hang our hats and hope upon. That is, if we will train up our children in the way that they should go, when they are old they won’t depart from it.
So, the process of the principle is this. Start early. Teach what God says is right. Put them on the right path and then trust that the truth and qualities you’ve planted and instilled into their young hearts and lives will bring forth good fruit ultimately, if not immediately.
This is a lesson that I learned from my parents beginning at a very early age. I was given responsibilities around the house and expected to do them correctly, quickly and without muttering underneath my breath. I was expected to read my Bible and be faithful to church. I was expected to treat others the way that I wanted them to treat me. I was expected to display a christian character at all times. Not only were these things expected, they were enforced. Even though I didn’t like it at the time, I am so thankful today that my parents loved me enough to instill into me their faith, values and personal qualities.
So, as a daddy, I have compiled a short list of character traits that I have determined to plant into the young heart and lives of my children.
* Honesty – “Always live and speak the truth.”
* Responsibility – “Do what you say you’ll do, when you say you’ll do it.”
* Punctuality – “Be on time.”
* Purity – “Reject anything that goes against God’s best for your life.”
* Confidentiality – “Keep your lips sealed and don’t tell secrets.”
* Patience – “Be willing to wait without getting frustrated and irritable.”
* Compassion – “Love people enough to hurt with them and for them.”
* Determination – “Never, ever, ever give up.”
* Thoughtfulness – “Think of others before you think about yourself.”
* Discipline – “Live a life of self-control.”
* Diligence – “Be tough and work hard.”
These are some of the traits that I have determined to instill in my children. It’s not always easy and they may not thank me now, but I know that there will come a day when they will thank me for loving them enough to pass along the traits my parents planted into my life.