Using Books to Instill Character

character

I giddily look forward to the first Wednesday of each month, because I have the privilege of sharing life with a group of amazing women. Recently, we have been reading through Love As a Way of Life by Gary Chapman. Essentially, this book has taken us through seven character traits including: Kindness, patience, forgiveness, honor, humility, generosity, and honesty. When these character traits are put into action, it naturally demonstrates authentic love. This is something that everyone can benefit from.

Character training starts at home and should begin early.

One of the best ways to teach character is to surround your children with good literature. Simply put, read to your kids. When you read to your children, it opens the door for conversations to ensue. Stories have the ability to teach, motive, and inspire our children to dream bigger.

There are so many wonderful books that can help teach our children about love, honor, respect, fairness, caring and responsibility. Below is a resource, that I compiled, to help you discover some great websites and books.

TEACHING CHARACTER Through Books

Character is the inward values that determine outward actions; the mental model used for making decisions; the moral compass that guides your choices; who we are when no one else is watching.

Below are numerous resources regarding character that has somehow benefited my family and me.  Please know that while I have enjoyed these resources I do not necessarily agree with ALL content presented. While some authors may be extremely conservative or liberal,  I read seeking what I feel the Holy Spirit has convicted me to implement for the Werner family and I trust you will do the same.
Character First This is one of my family’s favorite resources especially as my girls began school. I continue to use the character booklets.
Doorpost
  • Instruction for Righteousness is a topical reference guide for biblical child training.
  • Polished Cornerstones
  • The If-Then Chart
  • The Blessing Chart
  • The Go To The Ant Chart – understanding diligences and laziness.
  • The Brother Offender Chart – teaching children conflict resolution in a Godly way.
  • Be sure to check out the package deals.
Character in Action I have not personally used this website but I did look it over and it has great content.
Family Ministries   by Reb Bradley You will find many available products so I have listed below the resources that have personally benefited me.

  • Child Training Tips What, I wish I knew when my children were young.
  • The Delightful Family
  • Managing the Mouth: Victory over complaining, arguing, and other poisons of the tongue.
  • Motives of the Heart.  A biblical study on pride and humility.  This seriously was life changing.
  • Teaching Children to Love One Another
  • Creating A Strong Family Identity
  • God, TV, and Your Family
Family Life Today Encouragement and practical help for you personally, for your marriage, and raising your parenting. So many great articles and resources.
Focus on the Family
  • Kids of Integrity tools for growing Godly character.
  • Kids Clubhouse
  • Adventures in Odyssey
  • Focus on the Family has lots of wonderful family resources.  Catch their daily message via the Internet.
Institute in Basic Life Principles
Lamplighter Publishing The mission of Lamplighter Ministries is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, by building Christ-like character one story at a time.” This is a wonderful resource for parents on Character Development born out of 25 years of research and personal experience. They carry many old and rare books highlighting various character traits.
Whole Heart Ministries Clay and Sally Clarkson I am bias as I adore this ministry given Sally has been my mentor from afar since 1997. Five years ago she became my real life friend ;-)  My husband and I serve on the board of WHM and recommend all of their resources Whole Heartily.

 

CBDAmazon Other Misc. books and resource titles I’ve enjoyed. I usually shop at CBD, Amazon, and Half Price Books.  Keep a list of resources you desire as you can find really good deals at Goodwill, yard sales, home school used book sales, etc…

  • Wise Words for Little People by Kenneth Taylor (preschool age)
  • Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor  (preschool age)
  • Berenstain Bears  (preschool age)
  • Jungle Jam and Friends The Radio Show (listen free weekly) or buy CD’s (all ages)
  • Adventure in Odyssey Radio Talk Show by Focus on the Family (elementary age)
  • Veggie Tales (videos) (all ages)
  • Uncle Arthur’s Story Time These are classic stories that help children develop positive character traits and Christian values.  Hard to find but worth having.  Children as young as 2 will listen to and enjoy the Story Time.  Stories can be shorten.
  • Choice Stories for Children by Ernest Lloyd I am not sure if you will be able to find it.
  • Day by Day Devotion by Karen Henley
  • A Hive of Busy Bees 5-10 by AB Publishing
  • Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character… In You and Your Kids by Scott Turansky
  • While They are Sleeping: 12 Character Traits to Pray for Your Child by Ann Arkins, Gary Harrell
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Boys by Elizabeth George
  • God’s Wisdom for Little Girls by Elizabeth George
  • Young Peacemakers Series by Corlette Sande   FORGIVENESS Recommended for grades 3-7
  • Proverbs People: Book 1 and 2 by Rick Boyer
  • Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories by Robert Coles.
  • A Child’s Book of Character by Ron Coriell
  • Read For The Heart, Whole Books For Wholehearted Families by Sarah Clarkson  (A Great Resource when decided on books to read and purchase.≠)
  • A Little Book of Manners for Girls by Emily Barnes
  • A Little Book of Manners for Boys by Emily Barnes
  • Wisdom and the Millers by Mildred A Martin

Using Biographies and books about Christian hero’s to teach Character.

  • Hero Tales volume 1, 2, & 3 by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Trailblazer Series by Dave & Neta Jackson
  • Christian Heroes, Then & Now by Janet & Geoff Benge (YWAM Publishing)
  • The Sowers Series

Please share books and resources that your family has found helpful.  If you would like a PDF of the recommended resources leave me your email and I will send it to you.

 

 

Photos from Raising Generations Today

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to God.

As I reflect on my experience last weekend at the Raising Generations Today Conference in Corning, NY, I am filled with joy and thanks. It’s been said a picture is worth a thousand words so below is my story along with a few comments.

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Proverbs 11:25 “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”

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Caryn and I at the Detroit airport. We had over an hour together.

I began my trip with an unexpected opportunity to spend an hour with my eldest daughter at the Detroit airport.  I had not even considered the possibility of seeing her until the day before when I realized I was flying through Detroit. I left her a voice message saying, “I will have a two hour layover at the Detroit airport but I know you are probably busy and an hour (as I calculated the time of getting to her and back through security) is not much time for the hassle of trying to connect.” She called back saying, “Mom, are you kidding me! Even if we had only 15 minutes to see each other I will be there.”  :-)

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Stacy, Kelly, Me, Angie and Elisa

Above are just a few of the amazing women I was able to spend time with. It was delightful to hear the impact they each are having where God has placed them.  Thank you God for you have strategically placed each of us exactly where we are to be life givers. We each bring the good news of life, love, and salvation to our sphere of influence.

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger bringing good news,
Breaking the news that all’s well,
proclaiming good times, announcing salvation,
telling Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

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There was much attention given to conference details from a quiet prayer room, to a gathering room with comfy sofas to visit with one another.  There were lots of yummy desserts provided by the local Poppleton Bakery.  I was so thankful for a delicious spread of sweets. It was encouraging to sit around Friday evening chatting.

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Me, September and Michelle

 

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Me and Lisa

I am thankful for the many new friendships and connections made last weekend.  I eagerly anticipate God allowing many of us to meet again soon but until then continue to invest deeply into your family as you bring up the next generation.

Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth,
bend your ears to what I tell you.
I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb;
I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths,
Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done.

He planted a witness in Jacob,
set his Word firmly in Israel,
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God,
Never forget the works of God
but keep his commands to the letter.  (Psalm 78:1-7 The Message)

 

 

 

 

 

Modesty Is An Orientation of the Heart

HVAC

As a mother of three daughters I desire to instill in them both dignity and modesty.

My daughters grew up in an environment that valued modesty. As such, we did our best to show them how their attire and demeanor had a correlation with the way they would be treated by men. My husband monopolized teachable moments to point out “sexualization” in the media and discuss how some of the girls on magazine covers, and in movies, were revealing too much skin. As such, our daughters began to understand that wearing little clothing was like advertising their bodies.

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7 Tips for teaching MODESTY to children

M Modesty first begins with you. Model virtue and beauty to your children and point out positive role models.

O Own it. Teach your children to walk with confidence and self-respect.

D Define standards for modesty early on and stick to these standards. It is important to be clear and consistent. If you haven’t set the tone early on, it will be harder to expect your teens to suddenly cover themselves up.

E Explain the reasons behind your decisions. As your children mature, dialogue with them about modesty and ask them what they think.

S Scrutinize clothing choices with your children as well as their media choices. Once again, it is helpful to maintain open communication with your children.

T Train your children to think about the reasons behind their choices. This is often accomplished through open dialogues, because it provides a safe outlet for your children to express their thoughts.

Y Your body is good. Modesty should never be about shaming the female body. We simply dress modestly because our bodies are God’s masterpieces. In fact, our bodies are a ‘temple of the Holy Spirit’.

So how is a woman to dress?  In response to this question I wonder whether or not it is about the clothing, or lack there of, or if it is more about the heart attitude. We should be asking our daughters why they choose the outfits they do. Are they trying to bring attention and glory to themselves, or to God? Are they mimicking what others are wearing to fit in? It’s certainly okay to look nice and fashionable, but I believe that the posture of the heart is key. This can be accomplished by encouraging our children to cultivate a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to be active and interested in your children’s spiritual development.

1 Timothy 2:9 And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (3) Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. (4) You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 

It is impossible to dress in a way that prevents other people from stumbling 100% of the time. This, however, is not the point. Modesty is not about wearing a burlap bag in an attempt to hide the female form and somehow prevent men from lusting. Modesty is about valuing yourself. It is about learning to love how God made you as a woman and standing tall. It is about knowing how precious you are, every part of you, and not wanting or needing to flaunt it through less fabric on your body. Modesty is not gauged by whether or not someone will easily be tempted to lust after you. It is poise, grace and a sense of value that naturally manifests itself through the attire that is chosen on a daily basis. Teach your daughters their value and instill in them an understanding of their strength.

Fathers, I encourage you to be present in your daughter’s lives and let them know how proud of them you are and how beautiful they are. Let them know that they are leaders and they have a powerful voice. This, in return, will have the greatest impact on what your child chooses to wear. You can teach them about modesty, and by all means please do, but without captivating their heart they will see through the rules and have no problem wearing jackets before leaving the house in an effort to cover up their plunging necklines.

How do you handle modesty? I’d enjoy hearing from you.