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Posts tagged ‘building a child’s character’

50 Things You Can Say to Make Your Child Feel Great

SOURCE:  Janel Breitenstein/Family Life Ministry

A list for parents who want their children to know their love and God’s love.

1. I’m proud of you. And even if you weren’t so fantastic, I’d still be proud.

2. I believe you.

3. The way you _____ is such a perfect addition for our family. God knew just what we needed when He gave us you.

4. I know you and I haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye lately. But I want to let you know that I accept you whether I agree with you or not, and I’m committed to working on our relationship so we both feel understood and secure.

5. I can’t believe how _____ you are. I can’t imagine the plans God has for you!

6. You know, you may not feel very _____, but God knew exactly what He was doing when He made you the way He did, and it was just how He wanted to express Himself. I love you just the way He made you. And I wouldn’t have wanted Him to do it any differently.

7. No matter how royally you mess up, I’ll always be glad you’re mine, I’ll forgive you, and I’ll love your socks off.

8. I saw how you _____. I’m so proud of you.

9. I forgive you. And I won’t bring this up again, okay?

10. I want to hang out with just you tonight. What do you want to do?

11. I remember when I _____. I felt so _____. I don’t know if that’s like what you’re going through, but it was a tough time for me.

12. I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me for _____?

13. I got you this, just because.

14. Lately I’ve really seen you grow in the area of _____, like when you _____.

15. Yes, there is food in the house.

16. I admire the way you _______. In fact, I could learn a lot from you in that area.

17. That was a really wise choice.

18. No chores today.

19. I trust you.

20. You’re really growing into a young man/woman of character. I can’t tell you how exciting that is!

21. Go ahead and sleep in tomorrow.

22. I had no idea you could do that! You impress me.

23. What do you think?

24. I canceled your appointment with the dentist.

25. I love your dad/mom so much! He/she is so _____.

26. I love being around you.

27. I’m so glad you’re home.

28. Thank you!

29. I love doing _____ with you.

30. You are one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I am so humbled God gave me you.

31. I feel so proud when I’m with you.

32. You handled that so well.

33. I made your favorite _____.

34. I’m trusting that God will take perfect care of us. He’s always done it before! Can we pray together about this?

35. With God’s help, your dad/mom and I will never, ever get a divorce.

36. That looks great on you.

37. If I were in your shoes, I would feel so _____. Is that how you feel?

38. Would you turn your music up?

39. You are so well-disciplined in _____.

40. I sent you a big ol’ care package in the mail.

41. That was so courageous.

42. Do you feel like I’m understanding you?

43. If there were one thing you could change about me as your mom/dad, what would it be?

44. You have some real gifts in the area of _____.

45. Let’s go to Grandma’s!

46. It is so cool to watch you grow up.

47. Just wanted to let you know I’m praying for you.

48. I miss you, but I’m glad you’re having a good time!

49. You make me so happy just by being you.

50. I love you so much.


The Power of a Parent

SOURCE:  Dennis Rainey/Family Life

By building your child’s character, you can help shape the future.

The Great Wall of China is one of the great wonders of the world, a true masterpiece of engineering. I’m told that six horses could trot side by side on top of it.  I’ve walked on it, and I was amazed to see this massive structure snake its way through the mountains.

China built the wall to protect it from invasion.  But in the first 100 years after the wall was completed, enemies invaded the country three times.  Do you know how?

The invaders didn’t go over the wall.  They didn’t smash holes through it, or burn it down.  Instead, they bribed the gatekeepers.  While China was building this amazing defense system, it neglected its children by failing to build character in their lives–the type of character that could withstand temptation.

I think of that story whenever I hear parents talk of the dreams and goals they have for their children.  Many parents today are vitally concerned with the education their kids receive and the skills they develop.  They spend hours shuttling them to school and to various extracurricular activities.  They look forward to the day when their children will enter the working world and establish successful and lucrative careers.

One thing is often missing in these dreams and plans, however: Character development.

A foundation for life

Too many parents are more concerned with IQ than with CQ–character quotient.

In the end, your child’s character will provide the foundation for his life.  I believe the leadership crisis we are facing in our government, in our businesses, and in the church are all traced back to this issue of character.

As Omar Bradley, the famous World War II general said, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount.  The world has achieved brilliance without conscience.  Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

Do you realize the power you have as a parent?  When you help raise children with godly character–children who will follow Christ and withstand the pressures of the world–you are helping shape the world in the next generation.

Building character into a child means building patterns of behavior to respond properly to authority and to life’s circumstances.  As 1 Timothy 1:5 tells us, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

Responding to authority is important because we all under the authority of Christ.  A child must learn how to submit to God in every area of his life.  A proper response to life’s circumstances means showing your child how to walk with God so he will display the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience–no matter what he faces.

  • Character is what will help your child keep within his budget as an adult.
  • Character is what will lead him to turn to God in a time of hardship and pain.
  • Character is what will help him pursue his mate to resolve a major conflict in a loving manner.
  • Character is what will enable him to make that extra phone call or work that extra hour to do his job right.
  • Character is what will direct him in times of material prosperity and in a financial crisis.
  • And character is what will give him the strength to keep his mind and body pure when everyone in the world and everything within him says, “Just give in to that temptation.  It won’t hurt you.”

Two commitments

Let me suggest two essentials in building this type of character in your child:

First, make a commitment to be involved in teaching your child character through personal instruction.  This means actively teaching the Scriptures,  establishing limits in his life, affirming right choices, and correcting him when he makes mistakes.   It means continually showing him how to treat others with the love of Christ–how to communicate, how to forgive, how to encourage.

It also means contrasting what the world says with what the Bible teaches.  Just the other day I took the opportunity on the way to school to interact with my girls about homosexuality.  We talked about the culture we live in, and the growing public acceptance of gays.  I spoke of our need to love people but still be clear-headed about wrong choices that are a perversion of how God made us.

Our conversation only lasted 10 minutes, but I believe I laid another stone upon the foundation of their character.

Second, make a commitment to modeling the character traits you are teaching your child.   For you will never take your child beyond what is evident in your own life.

A seminary professor told me a story about taking his 13-year-old daughter to the state fair.  As they drove up to the entrance, he noticed a sign reading, “Free Admission to Children 12 and Under.”   He whispered to his daughter, “Scoot down and look small.”  She did, and he avoided paying her ticket.

A few seconds later this professor–with two seminary degrees–heard a small voice from the back seat: “Daddy, you know I’m 13.”  Convicted of his sin and of his bad example, he put the car into reverse and backed up.  He apologized to the attendant and paid the full amount.  That dad learned a painful but important lesson:  Our lives must model what we teach.

The six Rainey children have made their own set of errors–they’ve lied, they’ve cheated, they’ve disobeyed, they’ve made wrong choices, and they’ve suffered through massive doses of sibling rivalry.  But, one by one, they are learning to stand strong.

When Rebecca was 15 years old, she withstood the temptation to join eight other friends who slipped out of a decent movie and into an R-rated film.  As she told me her story, the grin on her face was a big payoff to Barbara and me.  Her character grew.

Yes, they do get it!

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