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A Tony Evans Character Curriculum

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CharacterCurriculum

I have said before that parents are teachers.

Kids start out in this world with a blank slate. They don’t know anything. Much of what they learn, they will learn simply and instinctively, from their surroundings. (That’s why it’s so important that you put them in good surroundings!)  Those lessons happen naturally, but you can influence them with your purposeful questions. Other training is more formal.  There’s reading, writing, arithmetic, and all of the other practical skills that they need to learn to make it in this world. But the part I want to talk about today is the curriculum for character.

Character Curriculum

Question: what character traits do you want to make sure your children exhibit?  Put another way, when your kids are older, complete this sentence:  “I want my kids to be _________.”  And from their perspective, as adults you want them to say “My parents always made sure that I _______________”. Fill in the blank:  Was a hard worker, honest, always fair, etc, etc.  This legacy is more important than academics, and it takes purposeful effort to accomplish it.

Where to Begin?

Of course all good qualities are important, but what are your highest priorities?  What are your top five? What are your top 10?

Author and speaker Tony Evans has a book called Raising Kingdom Kids.  In it, he lists 6 virtues to pass on to your children, and we are going to share those today.   A brief summary is below, and you can download the list with definitions, Biblical examples, and supporting Scriptures here:

| PDF_Picture  6 Virtues |

Tony Evans’ Virtues For Kingdom Kids

  1. Wisdom:
    1. Tony calls this “The ability to take spiritual truths and consistently apply it to life’s realities.” It is application, not just information.   Wisdom allows you to make “the best possible decision in light of Biblical principles.”
    2. Application, not just information.
    3. Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
  2. Integrity
    1. Looking the part and being the part
    2. Like popcorn, the inside will eventually come out!
    3. Daniel is a good example of integrity. The only thing they could criticize was his faith.
  3. Faith
    1. Tony says that Faith is “…not some feeling. Faith is acting like God is telling the truth.”
    2. Teach your kids that they can rely on God and His Word.
    3. Faith will lead to action.
  4. Resiliency
    1. Faith grows through obstacles and adversity.
    2. Trials and problems will come, but they can be an opportunity for growth.
    3. This virtue allows kids to bounce back and be flexible. To not be crushed by disappointments.
  5. Purity
    1. Our sexuality is deeper and stronger than most people realize.
    2. Tony says, “The kingdom reason for sexual purity is that sex is a spiritual event. Our bodies are the temple of God.”
    3. The culture is purposefully teaching our kids a message about sex. We must be just as purposeful and relentless in teaching the opposite message!
  6. Service
    1. Our modern culture is selfish and isolated.
    2. Lead by example
    3. Ask the questions: “What did you do for your siblings today?”

How can you instill these six virtues into your children? Where are they today? More importantly, where are you today?  Are you living out these virtues?  Please understand my tone on this, there is not 1 ounce of judgment or guilt placed in the sentences. For me this is an incredible motivator to live my life the way I know I should.  Passing on these virtues will be worth it!

Please share – what are a few of the virtues you want to instill in your kids?

 

Parents as Teachers

Parents As Teachers

The 4 roles of the preceptor parent

A dad is a teacher

The Fine Art of Child Delegation

Character Cards

Contentment Not Complaining 

Selflessness

Boldness

Self-Control

Meekness

Using Books and Storytelling to teach your kids and others about character.

Storytime: Easter 

Storytime: You Have What It Takes!

Storytime: Work Hard!

Storytime: Thanksgiving

Storytime: A Savior Is Born! 

Storytime:  How God Sees You

Do Good Leaders Exist Anymore?

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crown-1259067

“Ask yourself how you would act if the entire world was watching – then act accordingly”.
-Thomas Jefferson

You are a leader whether you want to be or not! Someone is always watching you and trying to do what you do or say. Have you ever watched a little girl ‘discipline’ her doll? Did the words and tone she used sound familiar? She was acting like her mom, right?

I love the beginning of the school year. We pray for the kids.  We come together as a family and talk about what we are excited about and what we are nervous about for the school year. Who knew your first show and tell could be a scary thought instead of an exciting thought? But if you think about it, you have to go up in front of everyone and ad-lib a story that you hope is either thrilling or funny.  So there is some pressure there if you are in Kindergarten.

We also take this time to talk to the kids about our expectations for the next year. One concept we talk about is leadership. We tell each of our kids that they are leaders. They will each have people watching them trying to figure out what to do next. We talk about what a good leader does, what they say and how they treat others. We remind them that they have Jesus inside of them so they are capable of being a good example and making wise choices. Continue reading

C13 Mom: Love Does Not Boast, Part 2

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C13MomBoast

“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’  Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

Blessed

It seems to me that gratitude is the perfect antidote for boasting.  An attitude of thankfulness can curb a bragging spirit. It will change a person’s perspective of why you have what you have. I love how my husband, Nate is quick to point out all that God has made. He sees God in nature and is constantly showing our children how creative God is and how He put different plants and animals in different environments where they could thrive.  It is easy for him to see and explain that nature is a gift from God – a blessing that we did not earn or deserve, but that we get to enjoy and have a responsibility to take care of.  It is easy for him to give God the glory in nature, which helps our kids think about how awesome God is and consider the many blessings that we have been given.

But the lesson can extend far beyond the natural world.  It is so important to teach your kids that everything you have is God’s, and our job is simply to take good care of what He has entrusted to us.  An important statement you can teach your children is “We are blessed.” This is so much better than “Look what we have!”  We are stewards and caretakers, not owners. Continue reading

Verb Tense

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VerbTense

Words are important.  We use them to shape our future and to direct our thoughts and our actions.  We all probably know that.  But did you know that your verb tense makes a difference too?  I will always remember the lesson that the ICU attending physician gave us.  Once in a while a new resident doctor (in training) would go through a patient’s labs and say, “His potassium is low, so we are going to give him some IV potassium.”  The attending physician who was in charge would say, “You know what to do.  Why isn’t this already done? When you report to me I want the IV to be going already.”  The residents only made that mistake once!

The wiser, older doctor wanted the resident physician to use a verb that was past tense.  “His potassium is low, so we gave him 40mEq of potassium this morning.”  Ah, much better.

Here are three verb tenses for you to compare, exemplifying the way that your verb tense can make or break your effectiveness at work and in your relationships.   Continue reading

Character Card: Meekness versus Anger

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DSCN6143

Today we are giving away the fourth Character Card in the series. The first Character Card talked about Selflessness. The second was Boldness and the third one was Self-Control.

This Character Card discusses the difference between meekness and anger. We will all face situations that we feel are unjustified and unfair. It is how we handle those situations that allow us to be a good or bad witness to those around us. It is so important to help our kids work through unfair treatment in a godly way. Continue reading

Okay Bay-Beh!

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DSCN1268-002

Today’s story is about my (then) 3 year old son. One day we were driving along, driving along in our Suburban, and Dana asked Luke to do something.  With a good amount of gusto he replied with, “Okay, baby!”  To get the correct pronunciation, you need to say “beh-beh,” or maybe” bay-beh” or “babe-eh.”

Dana and I looked at each other in shock…what did he say?!?

We informed him that it was not appropriate for him to call his mother “babe-eh.” He was to call her Mom or Mommy.  Not, ahem, “beh-beh.”
Continue reading

Character Card: Self-Control vs. Self-Indulgence

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Chains

Today we are giving away the third Character Card in the series. The first Character Card talked about Selflessness. The second Character Card talks about Boldness. This one will talk about Self-Control.

It is so important to teach our children at a very young age to have self-control. Remember, to actually change,the kids need to know that God is ready and able to help them learn how to control their self.  It does not come naturally, it has to be taught. Continue reading

Esther

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Image credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/737551

Esther is probably one of my favorite women in the Bible. Awhile back I studied the book of Esther using Beth Moore’s Esther Bible Study. It was well worth the time and money! I love learning about a woman who was taken well out of her comfort zone and chose to put her life on the line to save something that was so dear to her. It is a beautiful story of God’s redemption and His ability to give you the  tools needed to do whatever He calls you to do.

Continue reading

Lincoln: Sharpened On the Anvil of Leadership

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Lincoln

President’s Day brings to mind two old-fashioned metaphors for leadership.  In Paul’s time, he compared his service to being poured out like a sacrifice on an altar.  (here and here.)  Others have compared leadership to the process that a blacksmith uses to take a piece of metal and create a sword.  Taking a position of leadership is like willingly placing yourself on an anvil, to be smashed repeatedly by a hammer and heated in a fire.   (Anvil clip from LOTR.)  Doesn’t sound too glamorous, does it?  Continue reading

Girl Dates: Boys 101

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ConversationHearts

A while back I talked about the importance of communication between you and your children. When the girls were in Kindergarten we started “Special Dates on Mommy’s Bed.” These still happen, but because of our open communication system they sometimes happen in the car or at the dinner table.

These are wonderful listening opportunities that can develop into awesome teaching times. As the girls have gotten older and are around more kids, their questions have started to get a little deeper. Hannah has been exposed to kids that are boy crazy or girl crazy and it has started to really bother her. We have talked about the fact that dating shouldn’t occur until they are much older but haven’t gotten much past that. It got to the point where I felt like we should have a much deeper discussion about dating. This started the idea of “Mommy dates!” Continue reading