Generation Cedar


Formula for Destiny: Motherhood’s Best Work
Aside from seeing my children love the Lord, their development of character is the highest priority on my list. It determines who they are and largely, what they will become. And what my children become and what your children become determines who *WE* become.

It’s so simple we overlook it…”character–it’s everything“.

We’re reading a book called “The Case for Character” and the simple, profound truth comes underneath me as a mother, and bears me up to persevere, keep working and embracing this beautiful, arduous job.

There’s a simple formula as true as the law of physics:

Thoughts determine actions…
Actions determine habits…
Habits determine character…
Character determines destiny.

And here’s what it means for us in the daily grind:

These precious children are born with a sin nature. And that nature will constantly push itself to the surface. If left unchecked, that sin nature in them will develop into bad habits and then into bad character and can ultimately have devastating results.

Someone has to be there–someone WILL be there–all the time–either bending that little sapling back, REMINDING, REPLACING those naturally bad habits with good ones, or allowing the bad ones to become stronger until the tree is permanently crooked.

And here comes that delicious, mother-irony again…

We spend our days doing what others may say is little. And looking in on one moment of time, it is little. But the really important things are done a little bit at a time.

Ronald Regan put it well:

“The character that takes command in moments of crucial choices has already been determined. It has been determined by a thousand other choices made earlier in seemingly unimportant moments…it has been determined by all the day-to-day decisions made when life seemed easy and crises seemed far away, the decisions that, piece by piece, bit by bit, developed habits of discipline or of laziness, habits of self-sacrifice or self-indulgence; habits of duty and honor and integrity–or dishonor and shame.”

Does it get any bigger? Can I trust the character of my children–can we trust the character of our children to anyone else?

And so I say to my little one, again, tiring as it is, “No, you may not speak unkindly. Say ‘would you excuse me please’, not ‘MOVE!’….go on, say it the right way.”

Forming habits, one thought, one action at a time–being there in the little moments, to fortify the character that will stand in the big ones–the character that will one day bear us all up or tear us all down.


12 Responses

  1. This is so important, Kelly. Thank you for the reminder. Even if a stay-at-home mother wasn’t doing all the work she does for home, husband, family, and community all day, THIS would be reason enough to be at home with our children, seeing to it that during their most formative years we ARE helping them to form strong, good, righteous characters.

  2. Absolutely beautiful. I love the “simple formula”; it helps us press on when we know why we are doing what we do.

  3. You are sooooooooooo right. Doing well in school and other activities is just okay, but choosing to tell the truth is what we celebrate in our home. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  4. Hello! Right now we are dealing with an odd situation. My husbands family are all going on a family cruise. We were invited but feel God is not leading us to go….they think we are nuts a “free vacation” but to us not a Godly vacation.

    To me character is important….I want our children to see right from wrong not just lets go and do everything everyone else is doing and that does included what other family members are doing.

    My daugheters completely agree so that was the easy part now trying to deal with my husbands family that will be the hard part.



  5. Garden Veggies, I knew a couple who were invited on a free vacation on a cruise. They too felt after praying that they shouldn’t go. They didn’t know why. But then something very important came up while they would have been away. Not that that will happen to you, but just to say you’re doing well by following your prayer-led instinct here.

  6. Thanks for spuring us on! When we told my parents that the main reason we are homeschooling was not education, my mom said, “That chills me to the bone.” REALLY!?!?! We love that we can serve at church during the day, so we can pray over something that God leads us to do, or go somewhere He directs without worrying (too much) about the worksheets.
    The fruit of our labour and of God’s faithfulness was recently revealed. My 8 year old daughter was trying to lead the 9 and 10yr olds on her team to stop lying to an adult to get candy. They wouldn’t stop, she refrained from the activity, and they bailed on her. Later, the moms all admonished their kids to be like our daughter. The problem is, that behavior was trained into her for the last 8 years. It is based on constant “the Bible says..” teaching. It cannot happen in the 4 hours a night you see your kids AFTER you pick them up from someone else’s domain (school). If you think about it, who is really babysitting for short hours a day, and who is really raising, training, directing, and guiding—you know, parenting. It seems the roles HAVE been reversed in the culture of public school and parenting.

  7. Kelly (commenter),
    Your comment was really encouraging to me.

    Thank you for the long comment (even though it wasn’t directed at me, it encouraged me.).

  8. Even as someone who doesn’t have children of her own at this time, I found this post to be very inspiring and true. It makes me wish that parents at the elementary school where I currently work would invest more time in character building with their children instead of indulging them with countless electronic gadgets!

  9. I beg to differ that you CANNOT train your children to have character and good manners if they go to public school. I did, and it wasn’t that hard. They are 21 and 19. Everybody compliments me on my polite children who have good character. Their teachers would tell me how they would always say please and thank you and hold the doors open for them. I’m proud of both of my sons. It is wrong to say that all public schooled children are evil hooligans, as much as it is wrong to say that all home schooled children are unsocialized.

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