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Character Matters
November 2010
Character Trait – Character-Driven:
Check It Out. – What Does It Matter? – How Does it Count?
by Lori Coeman
Drive Time
Do you know you are raising up a leader? Your son or daughter may not lead a corporation or ministry or volunteer group or sport team, but they will lead their own families. Preparing them for that role is just as important, if not more important, than preparing them academically.

In his book, Developing the Leader Within You, John Maxwell points out that successful people are willing to do things unsuccessful people will not do. “My observation is that one of those things that makes a difference is this issue of being character driven instead of emotion driven.” He then describes this difference:

Character-Driven People
* do right, then feel good
* are commitment driven
* make principle-based decisions
* let action control attitude
* believe it, then see it
* create momentum
* ask, “What are my responsibilities?”
* continue when problems arise
* are steady
* are leaders
Emotion-Driven People
* feel good, then do right
* are convenience driven
* make popular –based decisions
* let attitude control action
* see it, then believe it
* wait for momentum
* ask, “What are my rights?”
* quit when problems arise
* are moody
* are followers

In this age of educational standards and accelerated classes – and early graduation for homeschoolers – the academics can absorb all our attention and time. Developing character takes a considerable amount of effort, mainly because the cultural trend is to react according to the Emotion-Driven list. That’s what are children are bombarded with in the media.

So we must be driven and determined all the more in our efforts to instill character and virtue in our children. Consider ways to incorporate the character-driven responses listed above in your home education. For example, we used the Hero Tales as part of our morning devotions. This is a series of biographical sketches of famous men and women throughout the ages who displayed various character traits. Through the real-life stories, children can see how practical and powerful virtue can be.

Pay attention to how your children approach their school work. What is the predominant attitude? When they hit a snag, do they give up? When you hit a snag, what happens? Is your family prone to have a scattered schedule or do you strive to stick to a routine as much as possible, creating momentum as you go through the week?

Instead of letting the academics drive your education, begin with biblical character. Let that be the thread that runs through each subject. Look for opportunities to insert a character object lesson. After a while, your children may groan, roll their eyes, and lament, “Here we go again.” But believe me, those are the lessons they will remember and draw from when they are leaders of their families and whatever else God entrusts to them.

For more information about Hero Tales please visit, one of our sponsors.

482 words
Image Credit: © KonstantinosKokkinis -

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