Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nine Ways to Improve Your Child's Character

"You can be well-educated in the world's eyes and still be a sorry person."

"You can graduate with degrees and have no character."

Both of these quotes are by Bob Tebow parents to Tim Tebow ( a super star college football player that is an on-fire Christian). Tim was homeschooled by his loving parents. They made decisions based on the big picture, not on an immediate gratification, easy shortcuts, or personal comfort. They raised not just Tim, but all of their kids to make a lasting impact on this world.

Bob says, "If I could get my kids to the age of twenty-five knowing and serving God, and having character qualities that please God, then I knew God would be happy and I would be happy."

Traditional education took a back seat to learning God's Word and building character through their everyday lives.

These are the principles that have guided the Tebow household:

1. Start training when they are young.

2. Teach them to memorize Scripture.

3. Emphasize humility and character above immediate pleasure and self-gratification.

4. Teach them to give thanks to the Lord in everything.

5. Use small problems to teach them how to deal with the bigger ones successfully.

6. Teach them hard work in helping out around the home.

7. Teach them not to praise or talk about themselves but to let others do it (the Tebows even discourage Tim from reading his own press clippings.)

8. Encourage them to pick heroes who model good character traits, such as humility.

9. Get them outside of themselves from an early age, caring about the needs and problems of others. In short, give them an opportunity to serve.

(This list was taken from the book "One Million Arrows" by Julia Ferwerda.)

This is a tall order! I am very challenged by this list. Even though I know I should be doing all of these things, I have let some slip. I am going to change that this very day! This very hour! I will be intentional about this. I challenge you to be as well.

We need to give our kids lots of opportunities to build their character. It needs to be a lifestyle for the whole family.

We can obviously start with helping the poor. Brain storm as a family and ask your children to pray about what they could do. They can also look through the church bulletin and find ways to serve their church body.

If you are excited about serving the Lord, they will be too!


sunshine said...

There are many things (blushing here) on this list that I have been letting slide.

Great topic. I really needed to read these things today. :)


Catherine said...

Stacie, I need this book to remind me of what I will teach my students; thank you SO much. I love it that you are living intentionally too!

Camille said...

Dear Stacie ~ What a thoughtful post! I think it is so true that character development, with the ultimate goal of seeing our children bring glory to God, IS the BEST thing we can do as parents! It is all about HIM!!

I have recently read the book "When You Rise Up" by R.C. Sproul Jr. and it is SOOOOOOO good!!! HIGHLY recommended for EVERY homeschool family, no matter where you are in the journey! I cannot stress enough how much of a blessing it has been to me!!

Have a wonderful day!

Camille said...

**Actually, I should clarify ~ THE BEST thing we can do as parents is lead our little ones to the CROSS and pray for their Salvation and then for their Sanctification! Sorry to do two comments here! :)


Kimberly said...

Unfortunately many parents these days are afraid to step up to the plate and implement the list you've shared....Not us though!!! Keep up the good work!

Leslie said...

I keep seeing great reviews for this book; I think I'll have to get it. I've kind of lost my fire lately, so maybe this will help.


LizyBeth said...

What a great reminder; thank you!
I am a huge Tim Tebow fan and so are my kids (and now my hubby too, since Tebow signed with the Denver Broncos).

Whenever I see a young person living out what I WANT to see in my kids when they are grown, I try to find out all I can about and from their parents. I'm always looking for role models for me as well as for my children.

It always seems to come down to keeping the BIG picture in mind- leading them to Christ, continually.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post Stacie! I'm so glad that you are enjoying reading 'One Million Arrows' truly is a very thought inspiring book!

I have been very absent on the blogosphere lately (time constraints) but I do have a couple of cool posts coming up...hope you'll have time to pop by!

God Bless

Character Education said...

Great article, this is really what we all need to do in order to give a right education to our children and i am sure these steps will be highly beneficial for our children.

Jill said...

Great post! I have just started following your sister's blog too! I have a little redhead myself and my oldest daughter's name is Hayley. That's how we first connected! My husband is an identical twin! So nice to meet you, if you get a chance stop over and say hi!

Katrina said...

Oh, what a wonderful post! Thank you for this. But wow, I'm falling short in quite a few areas.

Whenever I see a family who has older children (teens or adult children) who are really great kids -- polite, kind to their siblings, respectful to adults, hard workers, good grades in school, etc -- I always find that these families are very close to the Lord. It has never failed that this is what I find is a common link. It's not money. It's not where they live. It's always because the parents have been involved in their church, praying with their kids daily, reading scriptures to them, teaching to the Bible, and they have made the Lord a strong presence in their home.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Katrina, I have found that to be a common denomenator as well. I'm trying, too!

Grace Wheeler said...

Wow. These are so great! I haven't read that book yet, but now I'm wanting to! Thank you for stopping by my blog! I was SO blessed by yours!

My favorite quote was: "Traditional education took a back seat to learning God's Word and building character through their everyday lives." What a GREAT and timely reminder for me!!!

Amber said...

My husband's second favorite team! We will have to check them out. Of course, he tells me about christian players sometimes so maybe he already knows? Ha! Ha! Saw you in Above Rubies again! ;)

Chris in FL--Joyful Mother said...

Tim Tebow is definitely a role model for our kids...especially him being in our city...GO GATORS!!! ha ha.

Great post and reminder to train our children right. I am also learning alot about grace and parenting with it. Not always find fault and accusing them for their faults but showing more grace and mercy in my parenting.

Thanks for sharing.

Tina said...

I'm starting to get caught up on reading your blog. I love your posts on the book "Raising One Million Arrows". I hadn't heard of the book before, but will keep my eyes open. From your great posts, it looks like a wonderful challenge. Thank you for sharing.
I love your photos of the horse/beach trip!
Thank you for sharing with us. You're a blessing. :)
In His love,

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