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Character Matters
May 1, 2009
Character Trait – Teachableness:
Check It Out. – What Does It Mean? – Why Does it Matter?

Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whosoever finds me finds life, and shall obtain the favor of the Lord.
— Proverbs 8:33-35 (NKJV)

Have you ever sat in a church service or meeting and thought to yourself, “I've heard this before. I guess I can tune out?” Be honest now. Guess what? We reap what we sow. Our children can do the same thing to us during homeschooling or when we are disciplining them.

What's needed is a healthy dose of this month's character trait – teachableness.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1955 2nd edition) defines teachableness as “readiness or aptness to receive instruction.” It defines being teachable as being docile. We often equate docile with tame. But it actually means “easy to teach” and “easy to discipline.” We all want our children to be easy to teach and easy to discipline.

Teachableness is the opposite of hard-heartedness. It involves meekness. People who are teachable have a level of humility that recognizes that they don't know everything. Even when they are very good at something or have mastered a certain skill, they understand that they can always fine tune their craft.

Someone once said that character is not so much learned as it is absorbed. In other words, our children learn character traits by watching us and those around them. One of the best ways for our children to learn to be teachable is to watch us being teachable.

When a question comes up during homeschooling that you don't know, what do you do? Do your children see you researching the answer? When your child wants to tackle a new topic that you know little about, how do you respond? Do you say, “That sounds interesting; let's learn it together?” When you're reading a book, does your child ever see you look up a word in the dictionary? When you're in church and you've heard the topic before, does your child see you fidgeting, closing your Bible, or writing yourself a note about something you have to do later?

Psalm 25:4 is just one verse in many that encourage us to remain teachable all the years of our life. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Homeschooling gives us the opportunity to make our time count for ourselves and our children. It enables us to be teachable so that we can find life and God's favor.

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