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Posts Tagged ‘character’

In my previous post I talked about “My Best Gifts for My Grandchildren.” Today we are looking at some even better–though rather intangible–gifts.  

So it’s Cyber Monday.  And I’m online shopping for my children and grandchildren.  I bet you are too.

In the short run, they so appreciate receiving the “things” they want.  In the long run, though, they will be far more grateful for gifts that will last their whole lives.

After all, they didn’t exactly love the clothes you got them last year.  Or that movie with a good message.  Or even the fun—and expensive—family trip to Disney—everyone wanted to do something different.

Tired of trying to choose the best Christmas gifts for your children?

They probably have more things than they need, and won’t really appreciate your gift if it isn’t exactly what they want.

And wouldn’t we rather give them something lasting and meaningful?  So even as I make purchases to give to the kids, I keep these three gifts in mind and try to find things that will contribute to their growth in each area.

When I was fairly new into parenting, I found myself making some wishes for my children.  If I could choose three things to give them that would help them have a great life, what would they be?

I did come up with three fairly comprehensive concepts to wish for and pray for and hopefully give to my kids.  So here they are:

Gift#1 A Relationship with God

Knowing God is foundational for life and the relationship that makes all others possible (1 John 5:20). A relationship with God offers forgiveness of sin, power for living, love, joy, peace, patience, wisdom, an eternal family, courage, comfort, perseverance…I could go on and on.

As I pray for my children and grandchildren, I find myself coming back to this most basic need of all: to know God.  To really know Him as Father, Savior, Redeemer, best friend, counselor.  So when I don’t know what to pray, this is where I go: “Lord, may they know You.”

Gift #2 A Good Character

A good name is to be more desired than great riches; favor is better than silver and gold. (Proverbs 22:1)

Character influences reputation, which affects our relationships with people, our confidence level, and our ability to achieve.  Character helps determine the contributions we will make in life and will contribute to peace of mind and a clear conscience.

Good character qualities to seek to grow in our children include integrity, responsibility, humility, generosity, discernment, kindness, self-discipline…and a sense of humor.

Gift #3 A Useful Life

What is a useful life?  One that utilizes gifts, abilities, talents and opportunities for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Why is this important?  God has created each of us for a purpose.    He has given us what we need to fulfill that purpose, and he expects us to use those gifts, multiply them, be a good steward of them.  (Matthew 25:14-30).  So we need to help our children discover who he has made them to be and what he has designed them to do.

As our children grow into useful lives, they will sense their value, enjoy life and know they are contributing something significant.

My children are all grown now, with children of their own.  Though they continue to grow—and I continue to pray—there is plenty of evidence of wishes come true, of gifts received and lived out. I am grateful.

What about you? What gifts are you hoping to give your children?

c2012 Judy Douglass

Related article: My Best Gifts for My Grandchildren

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I’m in a very wonderful but busy season of travel and speaking.  Rather than just post fewer articles here on Kindling, I have chosen to introduce you to some of my Redbud Writers Guild friends.  I think you will love meeting them, reading their very good writing and experiencing new connections with our Savior.

Today’s post is by my friend Vivian Mabuni.  You can read more by Vivian at her blog, A Place of Abundance, or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

What a wonderful wedding weekend! I’ve been turning over and over in my mind what the father of the groom shared at our table during the rehearsal dinner Friday night. He and his wife live in wine country up in Northern California. Wine is their thing, and not only do they enjoy it, they take classes to continue to grow their knowledge and appreciation of all things wine related. Here is something I learned over a sumptuous dinner accompanied by a lovely white wine that I still don’t know how to pronounce:

The best wine comes from grapes that experience an especially difficult season, be it drought or flooding. The drastic change in weather unleashes something in the grapes that produces an exceptional wine.

The parallels to life from this example are too significant to pass by. I know people who have walked through difficult seasons–with rain that doesn’t seem to end, or dryness and heat that cracks the earth. Some become bitter and resentful and die on the inside.

But others chose to

sink their roots deep into God’s Word,

show up even after reaching the end of their physical limitations and emotional capacities,

walk through, rather than run away or numb away disappointment, grief and despair,

stay abiding in the Vine (John 15) even when the environment is extreme,

and end up displaying a beauty that emanates from places as deep as they have needed to go.

They become the exceptional wine that is set apart in flavor and quality. And they stand out and are admired and appreciated for their character. This character is forged through difficulty, discipline and not giving up when surrounding circumstances threaten to take away life.

I also learned up in wine country that there are grapevines more than 125 years old. They no longer need to be watered. The root system runs 20-30 feet underground. The grapes produced from these vines are faithful, dependable, certain. And year after year the wine from these grapes is consistently exceptional.

Isn’t that a great picture of what we can become?

What about you?  What trials in your vineyard have contributed to your growth and fruitfulness?

 

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So your kids didn’t appreciate the clothes you got them last year.  Or that movie with a good message.  Or even the fun—and expensive—family trip to Disney—everyone wanted to do something different.

Tired of trying to choose the best Christmas gifts for your children?

They probably have more things than they need, and won’t really appreciate your gift if it isn’t exactly what they want.

And wouldn’t we rather give them something lasting and meaningful?

When I was fairly new into parenting, I found myself making some wishes for my children.  If I could choose three things to give them that would help them have a great life, what would they be?

I did come up with three fairly comprehensive concepts to wish—and pray and hopefully give—for my kids.  So here they are:

Gift#1 A Relationship with God

Knowing God is foundational for life and the relationship that makes all others possible (1 John 5:20). A relationship with God offers forgiveness of sin, power for living, love, joy, peace, patience, wisdom, an eternal family, courage, comfort, perseverance…I could go on and on.

Gift #2 A Good Character

A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1).

Character influences reputation, which affects our relationships with people, our confidence level, and our ability to achieve.  Character helps determine the contributions we will make in life and will contribute to peace of mind and a clear conscience.

Good character qualities to seek to grow in our children include integrity, responsibility, humility, generosity, discernment, kindness, self-discipline…and a sense of humor.

Gift #3 A Useful Life

What is a useful life?  One that utilizes gifts, abilities, talents and opportunities for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Why is this important?  God has created each of us for a purpose.    He has given us what we need to fulfill that purpose, and he expects us to use them, multiply them, be a good steward of them.  (Matthew 25:14-30).  So we need to help our children discover who he has made them to be and what he has designed them to do.

As our children grow into useful lives, they will sense their value, enjoy life and know they are contributing something significant.

 

My children are all grown now, with children of their own.  Though they continue to grow—and I continue to pray—there is plenty of evidence of wishes come true, of gifts received and lived out. I am grateful.

What gifts are you hoping to give your children?

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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How many times have you yearned for those famous three wishes?  But that genie just doesn’t show up!

When I was fairly new into parenting, I found myself making some wishes for my children.  If I could choose three things that would help them have a great life, what would they be?

I did come up with three fairly comprehensive concepts to wish—and pray—for my kids.  So here they are:

Wish #1 A Relationship with God

Knowing God is foundational for life and the relationship that makes all others possible (1 John 5:20). A relationship with God offers forgiveness of sin, power for living, love, joy, peace, patience, wisdom, an eternal family, courage, comfort, perseverance…I could go on and on.

 

Wish #2 A Good Character

A good name is to be more desired than great riches, favor is better than silver and gold (Proverbs 22:1).

Character influences reputation, which affects our relationships with people, our confidence level, and our ability to achieve.  Character helps determine the contributions we will make in life and will contribute to peace of mind and a clear conscience.

Good character qualities to seek to grow in our children include integrity, responsibility, humility, generosity, discernment, kindness, self-discipline…and a sense of humor.

 

Wish #3 A Useful Life

What is a useful life?  One that utilizes gifts, abilities, talents and opportunities for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Why is this important?  God has created each of us for a purpose.    He has given us what we need to fulfill that purpose, and he expects us to use them, multiply them, be a good steward of them.  (Matthew 25:14-30).  So we need to help our children discover who he has made them to be and what he has designed them to do.

As our children grow into useful lives, they will sense their value, enjoy life and know they are contributing something significant.

 

My children are all grown now, with children of their own.  Though they continue to grow—and I continue to pray—there is plenty of evidence of wishes come true.  I am grateful.

What would be your wishes for your children?

C 2011 Judy Douglass

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