...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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Good parents try to develop character in their kids, but we can't de­velop character in others if we are not a person of character our self. Christian parents lead by example. We can't expect honesty and selfless-less from others if we are dishonest, lazy, and self-centered. Character includes    loyalty,    acknowledging duty, having genuine respect, being willing to serve, maintaining one's honor, being guided by integrity, being filled with determination and courage.  When you are a parent, your posi­tion alone can make you seem right even when you are wrong. That's why we need the character to step back and admit when we are wrong.

Parents should actually expect discipline and obedience to be the norm. We should hold ourselves to a different standard than a worldly society. In the military, society does­n't want people who have access to weapons and privileged knowledge to not have discipline and obedience as the organizational norm. With the family, we don't command military discipline but we must train in self-discipline-doing the right thing even when no one else is looking. We must also ask our children to be obedient to the Lord by following Biblical mandates such as honoring mother and father. Children must understand what is expected of them. They must recog­nize boundaries. They must under­stand consequences.

The military has Military Profes­sionalism and Appearance Codes that dictate punctuality, proper uniform requirements and preparation, pre­paredness and responsible behavior toward duty. If a cadet looks slov­enly, is late, or not dependable, or cannot get along with others, or is a trailer that is constantly having to be pulled around, then he is not a leader. There are consequences when these disciplines are violated. Children, however, are not furnished with writ­ten expectations-they deal with the verbal. They depend on daily nurtur­ing and consistent direction. But boundaries and consequences need to be clear. If they cross those bound­aries accidentally or in childish irre­sponsibility, we will rein them in; we will pull them back. But if it is through willful disobedience, then there will be consequences. If a mis­take becomes a pattern, it's no longer a mistake.

In the confines of the home, par­ents must learn to consider the words, "That's not fair." Each child in our family abides by the same underlying principles, but each child is also unique and requires personal treatment. They must know we are aiming for a goal in their personal development that will be reached at their own pace. We will mentor and guide them through it. There will be times when we will push them and times when we will pull them, but we are trying our best to get each child to where we think they need to go. That doesn't always mean each child is treated the same as someone else in the family. Things may not always seem fair to the child, but with Chris­tian parents, it will be-it will be fair because every child must be consid­ered individually.

There are people who have obvi­ous abilities who are clearly not us­ing them, and others who live each day to their utmost potential. With children, one child's potential may not be nearly as great as the child who does "everything" right. The child who keeps trying shows charac­ter. And character doesn't just hap-pen-it is a choice. We can allow our children to choose to be selfless or self-centered, to be lazy or ambitious, to exercise integrity or go the easy way, to have the moral courage to stand-up when things are wrong, or step  back  and  say nothing. Good character can overcome many prob­lems. Bad character will keep our children from overcoming their prob­lems, and will, in time, create greater ones.




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