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 behavior. 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 behavior.

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 parental emphasis 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's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and 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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132 Items found Print
ABC's of Character
by Tony & Kathy Salerno with Andy Holmes, illustrated by Cesar De Castro
from Magination Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
As Unto the Lord
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: XFA-WOM)
$12.00 (3 in stock)
Beauty in the Heart
by Pam Forster
1st edition from Doorposts
for 5th-Adult
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: XFA-WOM)
Blessing Chart (small)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Blessing Chart Patterns
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Brother-Offended Checklist (large chart)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Brother-Offended Checklist (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Buddy Book
by Nancy Rue, illustrated by Lyn Boyer
from Zonderkidz
for 2nd-6th grade
in Raising Daughters (Location: XFA-DAU)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Buster Tries to Bail
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by David and Nan Powlison, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Buster's Ears Trip Him Up
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by Edward T. Welch, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Bye-Bye, Bully!
Elf-help Books for Kids
by J. S. Jackson, illustrated by R.W. Alley
from Abbey Press
for 1st-4th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
Caspian Crashes the Party
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by Edward T. Welch, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Choreganizers
by Jennifer Steward
2nd edition from Steward Ship
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Life Skills for Kids (Location: SS-LIFE)
Christian Charm Course - Student Book
by Emily Hunter
13th edition from Harvest House
for 7th-10th grade
in Raising Daughters (Location: XFA-DAU)
$5.50 (1 in stock)
Crossroads of Character
by Marilyn Boyer
from Learning Parent
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
Cry, Heart, But Never Break
by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charlotte Pardi
from Enchanted Lion Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Oversized Picture Books (Location: PIC-OVER)
$16.95
Day of Delight
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$3.00 (2 in stock)
Do's and Don'ts of Yesteryear
by Eric Sloane
from Avon Books
for 5th-9th grade
in Pioneer & Frontier Life (Location: HISA-19PIO)
Doorposts Character Training Package
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Doorposts Parenting Charts Set
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Doorposts Parenting Essentials Package
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Droodles Ten Commandments Storybook
by Ray & Sally Cioni, illustrated by Jerry Tiritilli, notes by Edith Schaeffer
from David C. Cook
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Emily Post Book of Etiquette for Young People
by Elizabeth L. Post, illustrations by Ethel Gold
from Funk & Wagnalls
for 6th-12th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Emily Post Guide to Good Manners for Kids
by Peggy Post and Cindy Post Senning
from HarperCollins
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Emily's Magic Words
by Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post, illustrated by Leo Landry
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Etiquette, Jr.
by Mary E. Clark and Margery C. Quigley
for 9th-Adult
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
Everett Anderson's Goodbye
by Lucille Clifton, illustrated by Ann Grifalconi
from Henry Holt and Company
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
1984 Coretta Scott King Award
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Everyday Graces
by Karen Santorum
1st edition from Intercollegiate Studies Institute
for 4th-5th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$25.00
F is for Feelings
from Free Spirit Publishing
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
Family Book of Manners
by Hermine Hartley
from Barbour Publishing
for Kindergarten-Adult
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Family Circles
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Feelings
by Aliki
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
For Instruction in Righteousness
by Pam Forster
3rd edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
For Instruction in Righteousness (old)
by Pam Forster
Revised edition from Doorposts
$12.00 (1 in stock)
For This Is Right
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for 7th-10th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Forgiving is Smart for Your Heart
Elf-help Books for Kids
by J. S. Jackson, illustrated by R.W. Alley
from Abbey Press
for 1st-4th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
Go-to-the-Ant Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Go-to-the-Ant Chart (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.50
Gus Loses His Grip
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by David Powlison, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Halle Takes a Stand
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by Paul David Tripp, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Handwriting by George Volume 1
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: HAN-REF)
Handwriting by George Volume 2
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: HAN-REF)
Handwriting by George Volume 3
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: HAN-REF)
Handwriting by George Volume 4
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: HAN-REF)
Health, Safety and Manners 1 - Worktext
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Health (Location: HEAL-ABK)
$13.00 (4 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 1 - Worktext (old)
2nd edition from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Health (Old Versions only) (Location: OABK-HEAL)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 2 - Worktext
4th edition from A Beka Books
for 2nd grade
in A Beka Health (Location: HEAL-ABK)
$13.00 (3 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 3 - Worktext
4th edition from A Beka Books
for 3rd grade
in A Beka Health (Location: HEAL-ABK)
Health, Safety and Manners 3 - Worktext (old)
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 3rd grade
in A Beka Health (Old Versions only) (Location: OABK-HEAL)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Henry Says Good-bye
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by Edward T. Welch, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Hidden Treasures
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$22.00 $15.00 (1 in stock)
Homemade Uniforms
by Daniel Forster
for 6th-10th grade
in American Civil War (1860-1865) (Location: HISA-19CW)
$5.00
Honor Your Father and Mother
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$12.00
How to Speak Politely and Why
by Munro Leaf
from Universe Publishing
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
If-Then Chart (large, color)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
If-Then Chart (small, color, laminated)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.50
Ingredients of Godly Discipline
from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.00
It's Great to Be Grateful
Elf-help Books for Kids
by Michaelene Mundy, illustrated by R.W. Alley
from Abbey Press
for 1st-4th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
Japanese Etiquette
by World Fellowship Committee of the Tokyo YWCA
from Tuttle Publishing
for Adult
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
$6.40 (1 in stock)
Jax's Tail Twitches
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by David Powlison, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$16.99
Kids of Character Bible Study
by Marilyn Boyer
2014 Printing from Learning Parent
for 6th-12th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Know and Follow Rules
from Free Spirit Publishing
for Preschool-Kindergarten
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$11.99
Laying Down the Rails for Children - 2 Volumes
by Lanaya Gore
from Simply Charlotte Mason
for Adult
in Charlotte Mason Education (Location: HSR-METCM)
Listen and Learn
by Cheri J. Meiners, M.Ed., illustrated by Meredith Johnson
from Free Spirit Publishing
for Preschool-Kindergarten
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$11.99
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: ELE-ARTHGTA)
Little Book of Christian Character and Manners
by William & Colleen Dedrick
from Hibbard Publications
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
Love Is Chart (large)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Love Is Chart (small)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Man In Demand - Teacher Manual
by Wayne & Emily Hunter
from Harvest House
for 7th-10th grade
$6.00
Manners for Minors
by Robert H. Loeb, Jr., illustrated by Ellen Levine
from Association Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Nonfiction (Location: VIN-NFIC)
Mighty Acts of God
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$7.00
Mind Your Manners
by Roz Fulcher
from Dover Publications
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$5.99
My Brother is Away
by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe
from Random House
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$18.99
My Secret Bully
by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Abigail Marble
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
My Turtle Died Today
by Edith G. Stull, illustrated by Mamoru Funai
from Holt, Rinehart and Winston
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Vintage Picture Books (Location: VIN-PIC)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Myself and Others Book 1
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for Nursery-1st grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Myself and Others Book 1 Core Set
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for Nursery-1st grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Myself and Others Book 1 Read Aloud Set
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for Nursery-1st grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Myself and Others Book 2
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$20.95
Myself and Others Book 2 Core Set
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Myself and Others Book 3
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$20.95
Myself and Others Book 3 Core Set
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Myself and Others Book 4
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for 5th-7th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$20.95
Myself and Others Book 4 Core Set
by Cheryl Swope
from Memoria Press
for 4th-7th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Narrow Way Character Curriculum
from Pearables
for 1st-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$32.95
New Christian Charm Course - Student Book
by Emily Hunter
from Harvest House
for 7th-10th grade
One
by Kathryn Otoshi
from KO Kids Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEM)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
One Blood for Kids
by Ken Ham
1st edition from Master Books
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
$13.59
Pearables Character Building Kingdom Stories - Volume 1
by Pearables
from Pearables
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Pearables Character Building Kingdom Stories - Volume 3
from Pearables
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Pearables Character Building Kingdom Stories Volume 2
for 1st-3rd grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Plants Grown Up
by Pam Forster
2nd edition from Doorposts
for 1st-12th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$48.00
Plants Grown Up & Polished Cornerstones - CD-ROM
from Doorposts
for Nursury-12th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$15.00
Plants Grown Up (old)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for 1st-12th grade
$14.00 (2 in stock)
Plants Grown Up Memory Verses
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Polished Cornerstones
by Pam Forster
2nd edition from Doorposts
for All grades
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$48.00
Polished Cornerstones Memory Verses
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Preparing Your Hope Chest
Hope Chest Series - Volume 2
from Pearables
for 5th-9th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Protocol Matters
by Sandra Boswell
from Canon Press
for 7th-12th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
$18.00
Proverbs People Book One
by Rick & Marilyn Boyer
from Learning Parent
for 3rd-6th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CH)
12