Yes, life-changing. The following list, all rooted in Scripture, takes deliberate, faithful teaching, but will pay big dividends in the lives of your children.
Teach them to:
1. not be easily offended. Luke 6:29 speaks of turning the other cheek when slapped. The principle here is, love is not easily provoked and covers a multitude of sins. Don’t get your feelings hurt easily. If your are the recipient of a mild injustice, don’t nurse it. Let it go. You will be healthier, your relationships will be stronger and things will go much better for you.
2. focus on what is right instead of what is wrong in their lives–gratitude. We all have the choice to dwell in the negative or focus on the positive. While that may sound trite, the power of choosing gratitude can not be overstated. One potentially thriving person pines his life away in crippling bitterness because he can’t let go of injustices done to him which are out of his control. Another, dealt enormous obstacles in life, chooses gratitude and his obstacles become a boon to him instead of a hindrance.
3. take responsibility. It’s very easy to blame others for our failures or mistakes. Some children are experts at the blame game. We need to carefully help them examine themselves and not fall prey to shifting blame and avoiding responsibility for their actions. Failure to pass this on to our children will be the source of tremendous hardship for them in life.
4. hold other’s opinions lightly, finding their worth in their identity in Christ. We all too easily crave the praise of man more than the praise of the Father. Children, especially, can let others’ opinions of them become an idol, influencing their choices or hindering their confidence in their uniqueness. Parents can even be guilty of placing wrong emphasis on external traits and accomplishments rather than internal worth. Helping our children find their identity and acceptance in the Lord is one of the most important things we can do for them.
5. do their work diligently. “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Teaching young children to do a job diligently will lay the foundation for their worldly success later in life. While it most certainly takes more time and effort to call a child back to redo a job, the work will pay off in huge dividends. We need to encourage our children to be thorough, to see even the smallest tasks as Kingdom work when they are doing their work as to the Lord and not unto man. We need to remind them that Scripture urges us to be diligent and that obedience to that will make an enormous difference in our lives, whatever we set our hands to do.
Keep up the good work. We are planting an eternal garden.