We are called to be more like Christ. Right?
I mean, I know we all know that as Christians, but sometimes that is easier said than done!
We are filled with the Holy Spirit, so the same characteristics that Jesus embodies live within us as well. But sometimes we have trouble seeing those traits in ourselves on a daily basis, much less seeing them in our own kids.
Instead of getting down on our kids because they don’t embody ALL the character traits of Jesus ALL the time, let’s instead focus on four character traits of Jesus our kids can learn to make a difference in their world.
With each character trait, I’ve also included a verse to consider memorizing as a family, as well as a Kid Challenge that will help your kids put the trait into practice. My prayer is that you would focus on a different trait each week for the next month, building one upon the other.
Four Character Traits of Jesus
It all starts with love. If we first don’t talk about and focus on love, the rest of the characteristics will not matter (see 1 Corinthians 13:1): love is the foundation. And while we may take love for granted within our home, love is perhaps the easiest characteristic for our kids to practice outside our home on a daily basis.
Kid Challenge: Show love to a classmate today that you wouldn’t otherwise talk to.
We love each other because he loved us first. — 1 John 4:19
If there’s one characteristic I think of when I think about Jesus, it’s forgiveness. It’s the reason we get to spend eternity in heaven with Him: when we accept Jesus into our hearts, He forgives us of all our sins. If Jesus can forgive us of everything, don’t we owe it to our kids to model how to forgive someone else of something?
Kid Challenge: Ask someone whose feelings you may have hurt to forgive you for making them feel that way.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. — Matthew 6:14
Jesus never claimed to be someone He was not. He is God’s son. He performed miracles. He healed many… yet He never focused the attention on Him. To the contrary, He consistently pointed people towards God the Father and constantly reminded all who could hear Him that these things too could be accomplished through faith.
Kid Challenge: The next time you could take credit for something or prove someone wrong, be willing to remain silent.
But He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” — James 4:6
Jesus never tired of helping others. In fact, it was why he came to earth, “to seek and save the lost” (see Luke 19:10). Even when He was on a specific mission, He never hesitated to stop and help those in need. But before we can help others, we need to cultivate a heart for helping others, both in ourselves and in our kids.
Kid Challenge: Next weekend, find something you love to do and look for a new way to share that passion with other kids in your community.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32
Of course, it’s always nice to have help in establishing and growing these character traits in our kids (I don’t know about you, but my kids don’t always listen to everything I say). That’s why I’m thankful for books like Jesus Today Devotions for Kids. If your family is already a fan of the Jesus Calling series of devotions like we are, then you’re going to love this new book.
Jesus Today Devotions for Kids has the same themes as the adult version, as well as written-out scriptures. It is a great choice for families to read and discuss during devotional time together. And if you’re already reading Jesus Today yourself, this is the perfect compliment to help you make the lessons you’re learning applicable to your children.
These character traits of Jesus may not be new to you, but hopefully they can be seen in a new light and applied in a new way within your home. But don’t let the love remain in your home – these characteristics were made to be amplified and shared with the world… one kid at a time.
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