It all started when our kids were little bitty.
I was having a bit of a grumbly day, which had been happening way too often for anyone’s liking. When I was grumpy, of course my kids became grumpy. So the combination of grumpy mom and grumpy kids turned our household into a great big grumpy mess.
Somehow (God’s leading, no doubt) I stumbled upon the following from Philippians 2:14-16:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.
Do everything?? EVERYTHING without grumbling or arguing?? How in the world? Did God not understand about the poop and the snot and the tantrums?
I was personally challenged by this passage, and loved the image of shining like a star in a world full of darkness. How desperately I wanted my kids to know me as a shining model of God’s character, instead of as a dark, gloomy, frustrated, grouchy, “let’s just get through the day without killing each other” kind of a mom.
So living out this scripture became a prayer focus for me. “Do everything without grumbling or arguing…do everything without grumbling or arguing…”
As I focused on this passage, it became easy for me to gently share it with my kids every time they started to grumble or argue. Talking about it became natural, and little as they were at the time, they could understand the simple words, “Remember the Bible words? Do not grumble. Do not argue.”
But this parenting practice became even better when I started to incorporate the remainder of the verse into my training with them. When I noticed my little boys playing nicely and getting along (hallelujah!) I would take the last part of the Philippians passage to encourage them with, “You guys sure are shining like stars right now!” and they would beam.
And THIS all led to the creation of Character Charts that I made with construction paper and star stickers. I wrote the entire passage of Philippians 2:14-16 on a chart for each of them. Then every time I “caught” them playing nicely and getting along, I would say, “I saw you shining like a star this afternoon when you were playing together without grumbling or arguing. I guess you better go put a star on your chart!”
It’s amazing how such a simple reward can mean so much to a little one. It was positive reinforcement at its best, because it involved scripture Truth! And on the flip side, having these charts on our wall made it easier for me to call out grumpy behaviors with, “Your star needs to shine brighter right now. Can you think of a nicer way to talk to each other (or to me)?”
The “Star Charts” led our family down a fun path of selecting other Bible verses that helped shape our kids’ (and our own!) hearts toward making godly choices. Using scripture for our kids’ character training was better than any training we could have given them. We wanted them to know the “why” behind the good behavior we were asking for. Using scripture was a natural and beautiful way to do that.
If you’ve been reading here for many years, you may remember that I had created printable Kids Character Charts and included them in my Heavenly Homemakers Shop for you to purchase. They were not super professional, but they were a step above construction paper on the wall. :) Then after a few years I took them out of my shop with plans to have a professional designer re-create them into something wonderful.
That finally happened this summer!
There are five full sets of printable character charts and cut-out stickers in this collection, each with a Bible lesson you can use as you introduce it to and use with your kids.
- Shine Like Stars – from Philippians 2:14-16
- Fruit of the Spirit – from Galatians 5:22-25
- Walk in the Light – from 1 John 1:7
- Be Imitators of God – from Ephesians 5:1-2
- Treasures in Your Heart – from Matthew 6:19-21
You can download and use this collection in any way that works best for your family’s character and Biblical training!
My kids are all big and tall and turning into adults now. They look back at their beloved Character Chart days with fond memories (which is always fun for me to hear!). The charts use Biblical truth in a very simple and practical way so that God’s truth becomes your child’s truth.