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 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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102 Items found Print
As Unto the Lord
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: XFA-WOM)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Beauty in the Heart
by Pam Forster
1st edition from Doorposts
for 5th-Adult
in Biblical Womanhood (Location: XFA-WOM)
$14.00
Blessing Chart (large, color)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
Blessing Chart (small)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.50
Blessing Chart Patterns
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$5.00
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)
$11.00 $6.00 (1 in stock)
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-CHEMO)
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-CHEMO)
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-CHEMO)
Character Development Cards
classroom from A Beka Books
$15.00 (1 in stock)
Character Development Visuals with Lesson Guide
from A Beka Books
for Kindergarten
in Miscellaneous Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CH)
$11.00 (3 in stock)
Choreganizers
by Jennifer Steward
2nd edition from Steward Ship
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Life Skills for Kids (Location: SS-LIFE)
Crossroads of Character
by Marilyn Boyer
from Learning Parent
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Cry, Heart, But Never Break
by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charlotte Pardi
from Enchanted Lion Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$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)
$27.00
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-CHA)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
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)
Everyday Graces
by Karen Santorum
1st edition from Intercollegiate Studies Institute
for 4th-5th grade
in Manners & Etiquette (Location: BIB-CHMAN)
Family Circles
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$7.00
For Instruction in Righteousness
by Pam Forster
3rd edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$25.00 (1 in stock)
For Instruction in Righteousness
by Pam Forster
3rd edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$36.00
For Instruction in Righteousness (old)
by Pam Forster
Revised edition from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
For This Is Right
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for 7th-10th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$18.00
George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation
by George Washington
from CICO Books
for 4th-Adult
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
George-isms
by George Washington
from Simon and Schuster
Biography for
in Biographies (Location: BIO)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Go-to-the-Ant Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.50
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 $3.50 (1 in stock)
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-CHEMO)
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-CHEMO)
$15.99
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)
$9.95
Handwriting by George Volume 4
by Cynthia Shearer
from Greenleaf Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Handwriting Resources (Location: HAN-REF)
$9.95
Health, Safety and Manners 1 - Worktext
3rd edition from A Beka Books
for 1st grade
in A Beka Health (Location: HEAL-ABK)
$13.00 (9 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 (2 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 2 - Worktext (old)
from A Beka Books
for 2nd grade
in A Beka Health (Old Versions only) (Location: OABK-HEAL)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Health, Safety and Manners 3 - Worktext
4th edition from A Beka Books
for 3rd grade
in A Beka Health (Location: HEAL-ABK)
$13.50 (4 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-CHEMO)
$15.99
Hidden Treasures
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$22.00
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 $8.00 (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
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-CHEMO)
Kids of Character Bible Study
by Marilyn Boyer
2014 Printing from Learning Parent
for 6th-12th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Laying Down the Rails for Children - 2 Volumes
by Lanaya Gore
from Simply Charlotte Mason
for Adult
in Charlotte Mason Education (Location: HSR-METCM)
$34.00 (1 in stock)
Lessons in Responsibility for Boys Level 1
Christian Gentleman's Series
from Pearables
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Pearables Character Curriculum (Location: BIB-CHPCC)
$13.00 (2 in stock)
Lessons in Responsibility for Girls Level 3
Quiet Arts Series
2nd edition from Pearables
for 3rd-7th grade
in Home Economics Curriculum (Location: SS-HOMEC)
$13.00 (1 in stock)
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)
$12.95
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)
$15.00
Man In Demand - Teacher Manual
by Wayne & Emily Hunter
from Harvest House
for 7th-10th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$12.00
Mighty Acts of God
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$7.00
My Secret Bully
by Trudy Ludwig, illustrated by Abigail Marble
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
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
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$10.99
One
by Kathryn Otoshi
from KO Kids Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
One Blood for Kids
by Ken Ham
1st edition from Master Books
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$16.99
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
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Plants Grown Up Memory Verses
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$7.00
Polished Cornerstones (old)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for All grades
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$18.00 (1 in stock)
Polished Cornerstones Memory Verses
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$7.00
Pooh's Little Etiquette Book
by Inspired by A.A. Milne
1st edition from Dutton Juvenile
for Preschool-1st grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Prepare Thy Work
by Daniel Forster
from Doorposts
for 9th-Adult
in Preparing for Marriage (Location: XFA-PREP)
$10.50 (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-CHA)
Proverbs People Book Two
by Rick & Marilyn Boyer
from Learning Parent
for 3rd-6th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$15.00
Put On Chart (large)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$14.00 $7.50 (1 in stock)
Put On Chart (small)
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Preschool-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$14.00 $9.00 (2 in stock)
Richard Scarry's Please & Thank You Book
from Random House
Word Books for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$4.99
Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior
by George Washington
from Applewood Books
for 4th-9th grade
in 18th Century Literature (Location: LIT5-18)
$8.46
Searching for Treasure
by Marty Elwell
from Noble Publishing
for 4th-6th grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$9.50 (1 in stock)
Service Opportunities Chart
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$6.50
Sir Badalot and the Cranky Danky Dragon
by Rachel Jankovic
from Canon Press
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Stewardship Street
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for 1st-6th grade
in Money Management for Kids (and Teens) (Location: MATR-MM)
$7.00
Storytime: Character-building Stories for Children
by designed by Michelle C. Petz
from Pacific Press
for 2nd-3rd grade
in Character Building (Location: BIB-CHA)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Talk to the Hand
by Lynne Truss
1st edition from Gotham Books
for 10th-Adult
in Clearance: English & Language Arts (Location: ZCLE-LAN)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Teaching Character through Literature
by Rebecca Berg
from Beautiful Feet Books
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Beautiful Feet Books (Location: HISCUR-BFB)
$19.95 $12.00 (1 in stock)
Teaching Character through Literature - Intermediate Literature Package
by Rebecca Berg
from Beautiful Feet Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Beautiful Feet Books (Location: HISCUR-BFB)
Teaching Character through Literature - Primary Literature Package
by Rebecca Berg
from Beautiful Feet Books
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Beautiful Feet Books (Location: HISCUR-BFB)
Teaching Children Empathy
4th edition from Youthlight Inc.
for Kindergarten-6th grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Tell God How You Feel
by Christina Fox, Illustrated by Lisa Flanagan
from Christian Focus Publications
for 1st-4th grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$12.99
Tori Comes Out of Her Shell
Good News for Little Hearts
by Edited by Jayne V. Clark, Illustrated by Joe Hox
from New Growth Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$15.99
Virtuous Woman
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
What Did You Do Today?
by Whitney Antis, illustrated by Hana Augustine
from Whitney Antis
for Nursery-1st grade
in Emotions for Kids (Location: BIB-CHEMO)
$17.99
What Do You Do, Dear?
by Joslin Sesyle
from HarperCollins
Humorous Book on Manners for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
What Do You Say, Dear?
by Sesyle Joslin
from HarperCollins
Humorous Book on Manners for Preschool-2nd grade
1959 Caldecott Honor Book
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.95
Where Faith Grows Level 1
by Jessica McCullar
from Master Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Miscellaneous Bible Curriculum (Location: BIB-MISC)
$42.99
Young Lady of Valor
by Pam Forster
from Doorposts
for Nursery-4th grade
in Doorposts Materials (Location: BIB-CHDP)
$4.00 $2.00 (1 in stock)
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