The So-Far Series: Habits that Shape a Character

LauraAll Posts, Motherhood

Inspired by a list of parenting lessons and resources that I found in my    journal, I’ve decided to use this week as a “So-Far Series” and share our thoughts with YOU!

By the way, be sure to dust off your own opinions for Friday’s “So-Far” Shebang when you can Mr. Linky or comment your best advice… so far.

With 4 short years of experience, a pile of fantastic resources, and limitless wisdom from our parents and friends, here is one thing we know So-Far…


‘Ever read Emerson’s famous line, “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny”?

‘How about Charlotte Mason’s quip, “The habits of the child produce the character of the man”?

Or Solomon’s proverb, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”?

Well, I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about the vast responsibility I have as the keeper of our home to sow noble and beautiful thoughts, actions, habits, and characters into myself and our children. I’m convinced that the the environment I create in our home will directly affect each family member’s character and future. Since the jury is still out on the “nature vs. nurture” question, I’ve gotta conclude that the nature God has knit into each individual is most-definitely shaped by nurture – a force to be reckoned with.

So, I’m committed to sow Phillipians 4:8-type seeds into our souls: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Training in good thoughts and habits develops:

* the discipline of the will,

* an obedient response to the Holy Spirit, and

* an eager response to teaching about God.

Lately, I’ve been working through a rich resource: Laying Down the Rails. The author has gathered Charlotte Mason’s teachings about the importance of shaping our children’s characters, one good habit at a time.

“What we can do for [our children] is to secure that they have habits which shall lead them in ways of order, propriety, and virtue, instead of leaving their wheel of life to make ugly ruts in miry places.”

This handbook has illuminated my “misguided sympathy” that allows our children to relapse into bad habits to their own detriment.

It has inspired me to develop my own non-nagging habit of watchfulness.

As I continue to work through her thoughts and questions, I hope you see evidence of the material in my posts and in our lives!

The sections focus on:

Decency and Propriety Habits (such as manners, courage, and diligence),

Mental Habits (such as attention, imagining, and mental effort),

Moral Habits (such as integrity, use of time, and truthfulness),

Physical Habits (such as fortitude, health, and outdoor life),

Religious Habits (regularity in devotions, Sunday-keeping, and thanksgiving)

Bad Habits (overcoming lying, dawdling, temper tantrums, and sullen moodiness)

Are you just itchin’ to dive in? If you’d like to join me, you can download the book today and begin reading it right away. (In my humble opinion, it will be the best $16.95 + paper/ink that you ever spent!) Or, you can pay a little extra and have the book shipped to you. Please let me know if you’re reading it, too!