Character does not just appear out of thin air. It is learned through experiences in your lives, and also from watching others around you. Most all physical traits are inherited from ancestors, passed on generation after generation through your genes. Unfortunately, character traits are not. And a lot of the time these traits are not even taught, they are “caught”. Meaning, after experiencing certain situations, you develop certain character traits.
There are also what I like to call “Character Defects.” These are not completely bad. These negative character traits, that we have developed over repetitive bad choices and hard learned lessons, are vital to our survival. They also make up who we are. The only thing we can do as an over-comer is to try and rise above our faults and accept ourselves for who God made us to be.
If there are some important character values in your life that are needing your attention, or even in your family, start with you first. You are the only person you can change. Plus, who wants to listen to a hypocrite? They always have great suggestions, but never follow through. These people say one thing and do the opposite. Look for the causes and effects of your examples of areas needing attention. What did YOU do to cause this? What are your consequences for these actions?
This week think about the real areas in your life that you need to work on. Limit your list to a maximum of five areas to improve. Also, get an idea in your mind of areas that others in your family are needing improvement in. You should start working towards becoming a leader in these areas. As a parent, you must take charge, you must lead. That is why it is so imperative to better yourself first, change you first. If you have your life in order everything that involves you will also fall right in place.
Once you are sure that you are living these traits in your life, then you may focus on teaching them to others. Every time you get an opportunity to talk about these areas, talk. And continue to talk about it. Find other ways to strengthen these traits. Discover activities to do with you family that are fun but also educational. Tell stories about these activities, create a lasting memory, a life-long lesson learned. This is how real character is passed along.
It is proven that we are products of our environments. But, it is also proven that, our lives are what we make them. We are given a choice. Jesus did not come and walk this Earth and die for mankind just to save our souls. He came to walk the ways of the world and lead mankind by example. It is only through living a life that follows the examples He set for us, that one can truly LIVE. Even if we have had bad parents on Earth, that is no excuse for us to be bad parents. We do not have to be perfect, but we should be a good example of what strong Godly character is.