My favourite parenting course is Parenting Matters by Dr. Steve and Megan Scheibner primarily because it really addresses the area of growth in virtue. The Scheibner’s first pillar of parenting is the pillar of consistently elevating virtue above feelings. When I think of one of the worst ways we could set up the next generation for failure, it would be to have them base their behaviour, decisions, and attitudes on their feelings. Especially feelings aligned with the world’s value system. As godly virtues are developed in our youths’ behaviour, decisions and attitudes can be governed by a moral compass.

With this in mind we need to understand that every decision we make is moral in nature. This truth is why Jesus Christ is part of every decision. It’s important to talk about decisions from this perspective. Training in virtue is crucial for young people and so I appreciate the advice of the Scheibner’s to avoid lecturing, something I’m bad for, and use simple 5 to 10 word statements to impart these virtues in your children. For example: You catch Junior in a lie. You say: “Lying is dishonest; you must always tell the truth.”

By consistently using the same phrases for the same character deficiency, you will create a definite culture in your home which elevates virtue over feelings.

Remember this works both ways as we seek to model virtue over feelings. Explain to your children the ways you are practically demonstrating this reality in your own life.