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Character Matters
May 2011
Character Trait Ė Dependable:
Check It Out. Ė What Does It Matter? Ė How Does it Count?
by Lori Coeman
Drudgery or Dynamo?
Weíve become a bottom-line society. We look for the fastest, cheapest way to accomplish something. If something takes too long — like reading the full description of a homeschooling product in a catalog or online website — we skip over it. Forget reading through the introductory sections of the teacherís manual — give us a Quick Start sheet instead. Or better yet, a short Quick Start video.

We just donít have the time. Plus, reading, research, taking notes, and organizing it all can be boring. Itís sheer drudgery, even if it is part of the process of being responsible for our childrenís education.

Someone once wrote that duty alone is drudgery, but duty with love is delight. Thatís the difference-maker for homeschoolers. Because we love and care for our children so much, we are willing to put up with some of the drudgery.

So what does all this have to do with our character trait this month — being dependable? To understand how, letís look at the opposite of drudgery — excitement. Wouldnít we all love to have exciting, dynamic lessons?

John Maxwell says that we tend to think that dynamic people are fast-paced, extraordinary, and charismatic. But he points out that behind all that hoopla there is something more ordinary — being dependable. He adds that being dynamic will get you in the door, but being dependable will keep you there.

We can look for the latest and greatest technology to entertain our children in their lessons. After all, if itís not fun or interesting, why do it? Because sometimes life is just plain boring. Some tasks are tedious. Part of maturing is recognizing that no matter how dull the task, thereís no one else to do it, and people are depending on us to finish the job.

We live in a culture that no longer values commitment. Yet it is that steady, dependable, consistency that breeds long-term success. Homeschooling is not about getting to the finish line first or fastest. It is not about out-doing the public school children. It is about training our children to stick with something over the long haul because we believe so strongly in it. Itís about taking the time to do it right.

Notice the connection between belief and commitment. If you truly value something, you will act on it. It is the values and the depth of commitment to those values that drives us to keep on going, even through the tough times. Thatís why being dependable is considered an aspect of integrity.

Integrity is like building a house upon the rock — it stands the test of time and the winds of adversity. Our children are depending on us to provide them the proper training that allows them to grow up to be the men and women God intended. To be true to their design and their Maker — that is the true bottom-line.
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