Teaching Your Homeschooler The Important Elements In Life
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Courage and Character
Often when we think of courage, we think of having a relentless spirit – not afraid to tackle the hard stuff – we won’t be pushed around! It can also be defined as strong – a daredevil – fearless!
I think in some respects a few of these definitions are true, but not the way you might think.
On the journey of being a home educator, we have a wonderful opportunity to teach our children that courage and character often go hand-in-hand.
When I read Psalm 31:24 “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!”, I think of doing what is right and honoring God at the same time. Our children must learn how to have courage to stand up for Jesus Christ, and at the same time – develop their character.
A few years ago our family was out-of-town. We were out driving to a family gathering. Omar was driving. We pulled to a stop in a right turn lane. It was a situation where we had to wait for the oncoming traffic to clear before we could turn right. Well, the car behind us was very impatient. He began to blow at us. When we were able to turn, we turned. But the impatient car behind us went around and pulled up next us. The man in the car began screaming horrible derogatory names at Omar in front of me, and our children.
Omar sat there and took it. He said nothing as the man drove off.
When talking with Omar about that situation, he said it was not easy at all to sit there and allow that man to scream horrible names at him. Omar wanted to yell back and say mean things to him, but he knew he couldn’t. Omar understood that his wife, his children, and God, meant more than retaliating for that one moment.
It took a lot of courage.
I am not suggesting that we never stand up for ourselves. Yes, there are times we must, in a godly way, defend ourselves. However, this situation was not the case. Omar did the right thing by ‘walking away”, if you will.
We can teach our homeschoolers how to have courage each day – real courage -godly courage.
- Ending friendships that entice sinful behavior.
- Telling the truth in all situations.
- Standing up for “weird” friends even if it means being laughed at.
- For teenagers, leaving a “good” job when it requires illegal or immoral behavior.
- Reacting to bad behavior in a godly manner.
- We are all created in God’s image. Love all people.
- Respect authority even if it seems unpopular to do so.
God is with us during these times. It’s hard to walk away. It’s hard to stand up for what is right. It’s hard leaving friendships or a job when we know it’s the right thing to do. But God is with us. He honors the courage we have to stand up for Him.
The more children understand that courage is trusting God – they will grow into adults who have faith to trust God in all circumstances. Believe it or not, your children will face many trials. No matter how well you teach him or her from the “right” curriculum, or how well they perform during their musical recital, or how well they do on their ACT or if they get accepted into a wonderful university, or if they end up with their “dream career” – they WILL face many troubling circumstances.
They will need godly courage to face those circumstances. When we demonstrate godly courage, we are glorifying God. We are making Him known to a world of people who need Him.
As parents and home educators, we are also helping to develop godly character in our children. Be the example your children need. Enjoy the opportunity to home educate – and teach your children what it means to have godly courage and character.
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
-Saleama A. Ruvalcaba