Christian Values: The Foundation of Life

Values is arguably the most important branch/frontier that a Trailman will learn about in his journey to Freedom. It’s the frontier that acts as a foundation to how we view behave in this world. It’s what allows us to appreciate the outdoors, learn to be a responsible parent, the reason we keep our bodies fit and healthy, and the motivations to develop hobbies that could develop into life-long careers.

It’s important that we support our Trailmen in learning about Christian Values every month of the year. In this blog, I’ll discuss some super simple and effective ways for encouraging and strengthening the foundation of life.

Go to church

This one might be duh! I already knew that!, but I really cannot stress this enough. If you’re a father, you are responsible for the spiritual well being of your family. And as Christians, we cannot develop that habit that alone—we must be encouraged and strengthen it in the community of other believers. What better way to get help on an issue you’re having with your son than by asking an elder or fellow believer at church one Sunday. Or after listening to an invigorating sermon, discuss it with your boy(s) around the Sunday lunch table. When doing this, we are plugging into the energy of the church and allowing ourselves easy access to a lifeline of encouragement, ideas, and, best of all, the Gospel!

So, how do we do this? I always inform my family of what is going on during the course of the day. What time are we leaving for church? Are we attending Sunday School? What can the kids expect afterward? Answering these pertinent questions will help your boys gain the expectation for the day. Also, help your Trailman to learn to sit still, sing along, and maybe even start taking sermon notes (and discuss afterward). These are good habits to form that will last a life time!

Memorize scripture

Reading the Bible in quiet devotion is an important and necessary component of a Christian life. But we need more than just reading if we are going to combat sin. Psalm 119:7 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (ESV) We can scold, we can discipline, we can coach—but only God can change the heart. I firmly believe that’s why God gave us his word in printed type on the page—so we can hide it deep in our heart. And then when we are faced with sin, we can wield it when we are faced with our sins. It’s through the Word that Jesus works through us to say “no” when we are tempted most.

One of the biggest things we can do as dads is to model this to our kids. Memorize short verses with them and work your way up to longer passages. Bonus: Memorize catechism questions as well!

Coach in the moment

When kids act up, what do we do? Do we yell? Do we get emotional? Coaching in the moment is a difficult thing to do because it requires a great deal of self control. It’s important that we address sin in the moment when it happens in a way that is objective and sure-footed. What I mean by that is that we cannot allow our emotions to take over the situation after our children disobey for the um-teenth time. This will hold the household hostage to fear, and our children could respond by trying to obey out of fear of not being scolded again.

A better approach is to coach in the moment. A good example of this is martial arts. My oldest son is currently a high-white belt in MMA, and, as I watch him train every week, I notice that the instructor exemplifies this point exactly. First of all, they perform the move dozens of times. And when the instructor notices something wrong, they address the issue by helping the student correct his/her pose in the moment. Imagine if a student fails to do it right five times in a row and then the instructor gets frustrated and mad and yells? That would not be a good way to train for sure! Rather the instructor keeps calm and composure and corrects in the moment.

These are not meant to create an exhaustive list of helping our Trailmen learn Christian Values. But I think if we all start doing these three things, we’ll definitely be off to a good start and pointing in the right direction to raising Godly men (and women).

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