What’s the big deal? Why is character important? Why for hundreds of years did parents, grandparents, civic leaders and church sermons extol these character traits and virtues of industry, faithfulness, and integrity, to name a few?
Historically, how you behaved, was more important than how you appeared to be. Your neighbors knew if they could trust you or not, because for the most part, people stayed in their place of birth for their whole lives. A highly moral character was studied and sought after as a worthy lifelong pursuit.
Even now, who we are, when no one is looking, matters. Those hard, daily choices or the promises that fall easily from our lips, are a big deal. It is letting people know that they can count on you, that you will do what you say, and that you aren’t just a piece of fluff that will blow away with the first strong wind of adversity.
John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States, wrote this to a grandson.
“Have you considered the meaning of that word “worthy”? Weigh it well…I had rather you should be worthy possessors of one thousand pounds honestly acquired by your own labor and industry, than ten millions by banks and tricks. I should rather you be worthy shoemakers than secretaries of states or treasury acquired by libels in newspapers. I had rather you be worthy makers of brooms and baskets than unworthy presidents of the United States procured by intrigue, factious slander and corruption.”
Remember, as parents, character matters. We need to show by example, these traits and virtues. We don’t have to be perfect, and we can share our struggles with our children– it isn’t easy building character, but it is so worth it! They will learn as we do, that peace comes from a clear conscience which will invite the Spirit to be a constant companion.
Character matters now as it did for hundreds of years. It’s truth.
“Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”(John 8:32).