Best Character Ever

19 04 2015

godly.living

How did certain guys get named in the Bible? Some earned their spot by having amazing character. Could we use them as examples for our children to follow?

The apostle, Paul, gave us a list in Colossians. Their names may be difficult to pronounce (who would give their kids names like that!!!). But their godly standard of living is achievable. We can surely teach children to copy their character.

  • Tychicus (Colossians 4:7) was a faithful minister and fellow servant.
  • Onesimus (Colossians 4:8-9) was also known for being faithful, in addition to being a dear brother to Paul. Tychicus and Onesimus were both trusted by Paul to carry his message to the believers in Colosse. Because they were faithful.
  • Aristarchus (Colossians 4:10) was a fellow prisoner. He and Justus (both Jews) were fellow workers for God’s kingdom. They both proved to be a comfort to Paul.
  • Epaphras (Colossians 4:12-13) was a servant of Christ. He worked hard for others, always wrestling in prayer for them.
  • Luke (Colossians 4:14), the doctor, was a dear friend to Paul. He was the only one who stood by Paul until the very end (2 Timothy 4:9-11). His devotion stood in stark contrast to Demas who deserted Paul.
  • Nympha (Colossians 4:15) had a home fellowship.
  • Archippus (Colossians 4:17) was busy about doing the work he received from the Lord.

Here’s what we can learn from them and teach to our children. Someone who has the best character ever …

  • Is faithful
  • Can be trusted to carry God’s message to others
  • Is a servant (works for others, helps others)
  • Prays for others
  • Comforts others
  • Is a loyal friend
  • Teaches others about God’s Word (even in the home)
  • Is busy about God’s work

We will not get our names added to the Bible, but God is recording our stories in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Paul wrote his letter to fellow believers in Colosse while in prison. As believers, we’re also prisoners…prisoners for the Lord. In Ephesians, Paul BEGS us to live a godly life. He lays out this challenge:

“So, as a prisoner for the Lord, I beg you to live the way God’s people should live, because he chose you to be his. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient and accept each other with love. You are joined together with peace through the Spirit. Do all you can to continue as you are, letting peace hold you together.”  Ephesians 4:1-3 (ERV)

With God’s help, we’ll show our children how to live for Him.

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The Average Child

10 04 2013

average child
What’s good about being average? Is it a problem if a child isn’t the smartest or fastest? What if a child works harder than most and is—well—average?

From a teacher’s perspective, I viewed those students as precious jewels. They often possessed a silent humility, were quiet leaders, and exuded refreshing charm. Their goal wasn’t to outdo others, but to support and encourage peers. Qualities not often celebrated.

This is not to say that talented and academically superior students can’t display those qualities. Nor is it to say that all children who are average demonstrate those special character traits.

In my experience, however, many students who are average play supportive roles. They may have satisfactory academic performance and age-appropriate abilities in music or sports. But, their very presence in a classroom is an asset. These low-maintenance, selfless children enhance their community of learners. They demonstrate respect, determination, and diligence.

It seems that the average child goes unnoticed. The misbehaved student demands attention. The struggling learner gets help. Exceptional children receive accolades.

Students who excel academically receive awards. Superior athletes, gifted musicians, and talented artists get trophies.

What awards are there for the average child? There are no categories for extraordinary character. Where’s the award for a child who is compliant, supportive, attentive, thoughtful, helpful, pleasant, reliable, and considerate?

Why are no awards bestowed on such children? Surely, God is well-pleased with them. The Bible is full of exhortations to love others. That’s precisely where many average children shine.

Here’s to kids with fine character! And to their parents who teach them by example!