Every Kid Needs Character

Core scripture: “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)

Message: Look at the list of traits above.  Faith.  Virtue.  Knowledge.  Self-control.  Steadfastness.  Godliness.  Brotherly affection.  Love.  They all sound pretty solid, right?  I mean, what person wouldn’t want those traits?  You can certainly add other traits like endurance, honesty, or any of the fruits of the spirit. 

Question: How often do you take a moment to teach those to your students? 

If I am being honest, I could do better.  I always have a thought for the day at the beginning of class, and that is a golden opportunity to teach character.  This week I feel God is impressing on my heart to dedicate time to teach the importance of leadership.  Why leadership?  Because I feel my students are being led in the wrong direction.  We need some leaders to step up!

But how?  How can we teach character like leadership? 

First and foremost, Christian teachers must model it.  We cannot be hypocrites and forget to be doers of the Word (James 1:22).  Do your students need positivity?  Be positive!  Are they lacking love?  Show them unconditional love!  Do they lack patience?  Model patience for them!  Students will follow your lead if you show them the right path to follow. 

Next, you must take the time to teach it.  Motivational quotes are easy to find through Google.  Stories are always engaging and can pull kids in if you find the right one to share.  Sometimes I even show my students short videos that apply character.  As a matter of fact, on my blog homepage, I have a link at the top called “Character Lessons” that provides tons of free character video lessons you can utilize in your classroom. 

Finally, the end all goal is for you to empower your students to embrace character.  Reward positive behavior.  Praise students when you see them show character.  Handwrite a note to them, encouraging that character to become a part of them.  Even take time to tell their parents through a quick email or phone call.  Before you know it, Christlike character is spreading like a wildfire!

I do want to confirm that I am not telling you to break any laws in public education.  We cannot say the name of Jesus when tied to this character.  We should not cite scripture (although most all can be supported through the Bible).  We can however encourage our students to be kind, loving, patient, leaders for the future.  Who can argue against that?

Will I be teaching curriculum this week?  Without a doubt.  My students need to practice journaling, and we need to read a short story.  But along with these lessons, I will make time to impress character on my students.  This is not going to be magic fairy dust, changing them overnight.  But it will plant seeds that will hopefully sprout later.  One step at a time. 

Challenge: What character traits do your students need to learn?  Pray that God would reveal an area you could teach your students about this week.

Video application: This is one of my favorite character videos to share with students below.  I love complimenting this video about how kindness spreads with a quote from Columbine victim Rachel Joy Scott, who once wrote, “I have this theory – that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …

  • Pray that God would help you model Christlike character to your students.
  • Pray that God would put on your heart an area of character to teach this week.
  • Pray that your students would learn and grow in their character. 

Just for fun: One of my 7th grade boys asked me if I wanted to see a magic trick with an apple last week.  When I said, “Sure!” he proceeded to show me the sticker on the side of it, swiped his hand in front of the apple, and ate the entire sticker and some of the apple.  “And the sticker is gone!” he exclaimed. 

Oh, brother.  Never a dull moment. 

Feedback: I am always open to ideas from my followers on what to write about.  What is happening in your classroom that might make a good topic?  Please email me your ideas at theteachersdevotional@gmail.com so I can tackle topics that hit home to you! 

Prayer: Father, help me model character pleasing to You in the classroom and teach it to my students.  Amen.   

Categories: Uncategorized

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