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Character Matters
September 2011
Character Trait – Biblical Character:
Check It Out. – What Does It Matter? – How Does it Count?
by Lori Coeman
Bearing the Fruit of Character
Character matters. It matters to your family, your neighborhood, your community, your government, and society. It matters to God. So much so that He gives us specific instructions to develop character in ourselves and our children.

Romans 14:17 says that those in the Kingdom of God display righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The phrase in the Holy Spirit is the key to character. It is the life of Christ within us that enables us to display godly character traits as we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit.

That’s why it is hard for the public schools to teach character when the absolute standards and truths of the Bible have been removed. They have no basis for saying what is right and wrong to children raised in a relativistic, do-as-you-see-fit society.

And that’s why raising children in the home is so important. You have the time to develop character in your children. One of the questions suggested in the “Making Wise Choices” article this month is what character qualities you want to instill in your children. The list that follows is based on Galatians 5:22-23 – otherwise known as the Fruit of the Spirit. It also expands on that list using traits from 2 Peter 1:2-8.

This list is not meant to overwhelm you. Character development is something the Spirit does with all of us throughout our life. We all are a work in progress. Take this list to God in prayer and ask Him to show you which traits He wants to work on with your children this coming year. Then expect Him to bring the resources and “teachable moments” into your home life.

Yes, these traits do need to be taught; our children will not pick them up automatically as if through osmosis. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says we are to teach God’s ways to our children diligently.

LOVE – affection, biblical grace, boldness, caring (looking after others), compassion, commitment, concerned (looking out for others), forgiveness, hospitality, loving-kindness, mercy, self-sacrifice and selflessness

JOY – affirming, encouraging, cheerfulness, contentment, creativity, enthusiasm, gratefulness, humor, thankfulness

PEACE – appreciative, community-spirit, cooperative, discernment, discretion, even-tempered, slow to anger, friendliness, peacemaker

PATIENCE – adaptability/flexibility, endurance, forbearance/long-suffering, open-minded, perseverance, respect for and acceptance of others, sensitivity, tolerance

KINDNESS – attentiveness, availability, civic-minded/sense of community, considerate, deference, gentleness, politeness, respectful

GOODNESS – fairness, generous, helpfulness, honest/trustworthy/truthfulness, impartial, just/justice, purity, servanthood/service, sincerity, virtuous

FAITHFULNESS – accountable, alertness, assurance, belief/conviction, confidence, courage, determination, expectant/hopeful, fidelity/faithful, firmness, focused, innovative, loyal, optimistic/positive, purposefulness, security, trust, vision, zealous

GENTLENESS – consistency, dedicated, dependability, discipline, gracious/gracefulness, humble, integrity, meekness, leadership, persuasiveness, quality decision-making, self-acceptance, serene
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