Character Building

One of the worst things a preacher can do is moralize from the pulpit. God's Law isn't a list of moral attributes His people ought to display, it's a reflection of His perfection. The way to righteousness isn't a particular moral code, it's surrendered faith in Jesus Christ. If morals were what God expected of us, there really would be many roads to heaven; as it is, Christ is the only way.

That's why we aren't fans of character building programs that emphasize good behaviour. Obviously, children should be taught to obey, to do what God commands, and to avoid sin, but more importantly they need to learn to love God. If our hearts belong to God, the rest will follow. Those who claim they can live however they please because they have faith in Jesus don't really know anything about faith or Jesus.

When Jesus indwells us and renews our desires, the more we relinquish to His control, the more we start wanting to do right and the less we want to do wrong. Our kids are no different—if we raise them to think they have to abide by some legalistic standard, they'll likely get frustrated and even fall away from the faith. If we train them to find fulfillment in Christ and to desire Him completely, eventually they'll also learn to follow His example.

Not all character curriculum is created equal. Some are better able to inspire kids to Christlikeness through simply pointing to Him than others, and some do get bogged down in details, but we've managed to select books that get the doctrine of grace right and aren't too focused on outward displays of virtue and obedience.

Again, children should be virtuous, and they should obey. But they never will if they don't first love Christ. Godly character isn't predicated on what others can see, it's predicated on what only God Himself can see: our hearts. In other words, a good character curriculum starts from the inside and works out to the actions and behaviour.

Favorites at Exodus Books are the Doorposts materials by Pam Forster, a variety of books and resources designed to steer children on the path of reverence, devotion and faith. Pam's books are both practical and spiritual, and speak as much to parents as to their offspring. Since children learn most about life from their parents, we appreciate this parentalemphasis very much.

In the end, a book can't make your children good. The only thing that can make them good is the transformative power of Christ's blood, freely offered through faith in Him. But neither can children learn the Gospel and its demands through osmosis; they must be told the story of God's redemptive acts over and over, and these books will help you do just that, as well as showing them what the life of a Christian ought to look like.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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94 Items found Print
Against the Tide
by Julie Hiramine, Megan Briggs
2nd edition
for Adult
in Sex Education (Location: B18-15B)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
As Unto the Lord
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: C02-03D)
$14.40 $8.40 (2 in stock)
Beauty in the Heart
by Pam Forster
1st edition from Doorposts
for 5th-Adult
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: C02-03D)
$11.20
Blessing Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
Blessing Chart (small)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
Blessing Chart Patterns
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$5.00 $2.00 (1 in stock)
Brother-Offended Checklist (large chart)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$11.00
Brother-Offended Checklist (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$11.00
Checklist for Parents
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Parenting (Location: C02-02A)
$5.50 $3.50 (2 in stock)
Choreganizers
by Jennifer Steward
2nd edition from Steward Ship
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Life Skills for Kids (Location: CPB-06B)
$14.36
Contenders for the Faith
by Jeffrey A. Zakula
3rd edition from Keepers of the Faith
for Young men and their fathers
$7.00 (2 in stock)
Day of Delight
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$7.00 $3.00 (2 in stock)
Doorposts Character Training Package
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$149.24
Doorposts Parenting Charts Set
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$27.00
Doorposts Parenting Essentials Package
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$59.04
Everyday Graces
by Karen Santorum
1st edition from Intercollegiate Studies Institute
for 4th-5th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: B12-01A)
Family Circles
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$7.00 $3.00 (1 in stock)
For Instruction in Righteousness
by Pam Forster
3rd edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$36.00 $25.00 (2 in stock)
For Instruction in Righteousness
by Pam Forster
3rd edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$36.00
For Instruction in Righteousness (old)
by Pam Forster
Revised edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$10.50 (3 in stock)
For This Is Right
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for 7th-10th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$18.00 $12.00 (2 in stock)
Go-to-the-Ant Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
Go-to-the-Ant Chart (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
God's Wisdom for Little Boys
for Preschool- 3rd Grade
in Character Building (Location: B12-01B)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Good Choice, Bad Choice
by Darrel A. Trulson
from InterVarsity Press
for 1st-3rd grade
in Bible Doctrine for Kids (Location: CPB-07A)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Hands-On Character Building
by Marilyn Boyer, Rick Boyer
New from Learning Parent
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Character Building (Location: B12-01B)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Handwriting by George Volume 1
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: B13-04A)
$9.95
Handwriting by George Volume 2
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: B13-04A)
$9.95
Handwriting by George Volume 3
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: B13-04A)
$9.95
Handwriting by George Volume 4
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: B13-04A)
$9.95
Health, Safety and Manners 1 - Worktext
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Health (Location: B18-15E)
Health, Safety and Manners 1 - Worktext (old)
from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Health (Old Versions only) (Location: BLG-03B)
$7.00 (6 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 2 - Worktext
from A Beka Books
for 2nd grade
in A Beka Health (Location: B18-15E)
$8.00 (3 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 3 - Worktext
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 3rd grade
in A Beka Health (Location: B18-15E)
$7.50 (5 in stock)
Hidden Treasures
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$22.00 $15.00 (1 in stock)
Homemade Uniforms
by Daniel Forster
for 6th-10th grade
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: B01-18A)
$5.00
Honor Your Father and Mother
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$12.00 $7.00 (1 in stock)
If-Then Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
If-Then Chart (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
If-Then Chart (small, color, laminated) (old)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$6.50
Keepers at Home
by Susan D. Zakula
3rd edition from Keepers of the Faith
for Young women and their mothers
$12.76 $7.00 (4 in stock)
Keepers at Home Companion Notebook
for 3rd-6th grade
$7.00 (2 in stock)
Lessons in Responsibility for Boys Level 1
Christian Gentleman's Series
from Pearables
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: B12-01C)
Lessons in Responsibility for Boys Level 2
The Christian Gentleman's Series
from Pearables
for 2nd-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: B12-01C)
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 1
from Pearables
for 2nd-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: B12-01C)
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 2
2nd edition from Pearables
for 2nd-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: B12-01C)
$15.16
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 3
Quiet Arts Series
2nd edition from Pearables
for 3rd-7th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: B12-01C)
$18.95
Little Annie's Art Book of Etiquette & Good Manners
by Barry & Saundra Stebbing
2nd edition from How Great Thou Art
for 1st-3rd grade
in How Great Thou Art (Location: ART-01B)
$10.36
Little Book of Manners for Boys
by Bob and Emilie Barnes
from Harvest House
for ages 4-7
in Raising Sons (Location: C02-03A)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Love Is Chart (large)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: B12-01B)
$15.00
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