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in the first place. Millions have forgotten that these benefits, decep- tively labeled “entitlement programs,” are actually a gift—and that they were never available on a national basis until just a few de- cades ago. Your children must understand and remember that there is no such thing as “a free lunch,” and that one must work to achieve or obtain everything he needs.

On the other hand, people who work long, hard hours appreciate what their effort produces: steady paychecks, paid bills, a comfort- able home and having at least all the other necessities of life.

Ingrain in your children the fact that there is no such thing as getting “something for nothing.” Routinely give them chores and re- sponsibilities. Then, again, check their progress. Vast numbers of children today are not given regular chores, and fewer still are re- quired to actually do whatever minimal tasks they may be given. Tie all or part of their allowance directly to their chores.

Teach them to be self-motivated—to take on jobs and responsi- bilities without being told. Initiative is a quality that is increasingly disappearing among the modern workforce. Most habitually do as little as possible, or just enough to get by, and then resent those who want to go above and beyond. Tell your children they could face this resentment.

Teach your children the example of the ant, contrasted to the slothful—the lazy: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provides her meat in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you sleep, O sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall your poverty come as one that travels, and your want as an armed man” (Prov. 6:6-11).

Instruct your children about why they can enjoy hard work! They will thank you for it later. If done correctly, your children will learn to feel guilty if they are not being regularly productive at every job, task, assignment, chore and duty.

Teach the Importance of Wise Decision-Making

Your children will literally make thousands of decisions throughout the course of their lives. Some will be small, others medium-sized, still others large, and some enormously important, and literally tow- ering over other decisions they will make—for example, whom they

Teaching About All-important Character


marry, when and how many children to have, changing careers, buy- ing a home, and, most important, the decision to pursue baptism and conversion.

How can a generation that knows no limits, sees no boundaries and yields to no rules of ethics be expected to make right, moral judgments?

Solomon was inspired to record, “a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment” (Ecc. 8:5). Put another way, this verse states that, in every situation, a person must know both what to do and when to do it.

This verse introduces several categories of people. Consider: Some people do not know either what to do or when to do it. Others know what to do, but not when they should do it. Some others know when something must be done, but do not know what it may be. Then there are those who know what to do and when to do it, but do not have the strength to follow through and carry it out. The final catego- ry of people is the same as the last one except that they do follow through on their decision.

Wise parents teach their children how to be a part of the fifth category described here. Here are some points to instill into your children regarding decision-making:

(1) Be sure that they understand the importance of getting all the facts in a matter before making a decision. This process cannot be rushed and your children must be patient in carrying it out (Prov. 15:28; 18:13).

(2) Explain the Bible teaching that a wide variety of counsel brings “safety,” “peace,” “wisdom,” and “purposes that are estab- lished” (Prov. 11:14; 12:20; 12:15; 15:22).

(3) Teach your children to establish priorities. This means help- ing them learn the difference between wants and needs, explained later in the book.

(4) The all-important final point is to teach your children to be certain that they are seeking God’s Will in the matter—and in all matters. They must understand that everything else, done correctly in the process, is of little use if they are not asking for God’s guidance.

Tragically, millions of people have absolutely no idea how to make RIGHT DECISIONS. Unable to break the cycle of making wrong decisions, the result becomes an entire lifetime of bouncing from one calamitous mistake to another.

You hold the power to protect your children from this pattern!

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