How We Teach Character


Would you like lasting results or temporary relief from destructive and unacceptable behavior?

Look at it this way. Your child's first and greatest need (and ours as well!) comes not from competing against others, or the need to defend himself from physical attack. Your child's greatest need is to know and cherish the infinite value of God. 

Your child's battle from sinister forces may often be expressed by the following fears or doubts caused by sin:

"Everyone is smarter than I am."

"I don't understand my teachers."

"I wish I could be like Susan."

"Why does Mike keep teasing me?"

Or these attitudes of self-righteousness, self-justification, and self-centeredness:

“It’s not fair.”

“I want what he has.”

“But she did it, too.”

“I am not to blame. It’s not my fault.”

“Everyone else is doing it.”

We’ve all experienced temporary relief when our children sin.  I can remember many times when I was just too tired to take all the steps I should have to help my own children when they were misbehaving.  I would yell out a simple command to stop the noise. I did nothing to nurture their heart, to explain why according to God's Word what they were doing was wrong, what the consequences were, and what God tells us to do when we sin.  I did not take the opportunity God gave me for a 'teaching moment' to train my child in the way he shoud go. 

Temporary relief comes when, as parents, we only address the surface problems and take short cuts to solve an issue our child has instead of implementing Biblical Principles.  However, by patience and seeking God in His word, we can get lasting results by getting to the root of the problem and applying Biblical Principles.

Character deficiencies can be caused by resisting God’s Grace (Heb 12:15) or by following our natural inclinations (pride), which are opposite to God’s (Isaiah 55:8-9; Proverbs 14:12)  or by violating non-optional principles of God’s Word, such as acknowledging God’s ownership, yielding our rights, maintaining moral purity, God’s purpose for our lives, and forgiving our offenders.  (Just to name a few.)

What is the Goal of Our Curriculum

The goal of our curriculum is for your child to desire spiritual growth and to live out Christ-like character. 

If  we have been justified by faith, through repentance toward God and faith in Jesus Christ, then God starts to transform us to be more like Christ and we start to grow in holiness.   The same power of God that saved us is now going to conform us to the image of Christ.  God gives the power but He commands us to strive and enables us as His instruments of Grace to demonstrate Christ-like Character.   

The more your child treasures God through His word, and grows in knowledge of Him and love for Him the more your child will desire to honor Him, to acknowledge Him, to give thanks to Him and to praise the greatness and worth of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The more precious Jesus is to your child, the wiser your child will be.  With this wisdom comes the desire to identifying the root causes of his or her own sin and helping others identify the root causes of their problems.  Thereby, putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and making no provision for the flesh, to gratify it's desires.

The more we identify root problems the more we will experience lasting results rather than temporary relief.  

What is the source of Character?

Values are based on the changing opinions of what people or groups feel is important.  If  choices are made based on how one feels, and circumstances can change what is right or wrong, then we may be making choices that do not please God.

“Our culture teaches an objective standard of right and wrong.  Truth has become a matter of taste; morality has been replaced by individual preference.  And our youth have been affected.” – Josh McDowell

God is the source of character.  Christ-like Character is based on non-changing absolute universal standards from the Law of God, which He has written in every person’s heart. (Rom 2:15)  But without Jesus as Lord and Savior these Laws are surpressed in unrighteousness.  There are certain things that are right for all people, for all times and in all places.

How does character bring success?

What does success mean for followers of Christ who want to honor God in their lives?

We can start with the “rules of success” from the bible:

Put God first.     Matt. 6:32–34

Follow the Book.     Josh. 1:7–9

Seek the goal.     Phil. 3:13-14

Never give up.     Gal. 6:9

Do all for Christ.     Phil. 1:20-21

Biblical success is not getting results at any cost. It is not prosperity, power, prominence, popularity, or any of the other worldly notions of success. Real success is doing the will of God regardless of the consequences.

The appropriate biblical goal is not worldly success, but excellence. In the bible, Paul encourages Timothy to be all that God had called and gifted him to be. He was not advising Timothy to seek success; he was urging him to pursue excellence.

Biblical success can be brought about by God through our relationships, and relationships are influenced by our character. Vital relationships require getting along with ourselves, our families, one’s spouse, our children, our businesses, churches, communities and, most importantly, with God.

The 49 character traits, the 49 scriptures and the 245 “I wills” our program teaches your child are actually expressions of genuine love, or God’s love through your child. When understood and demonstrated by the power of the Holy Spirit, they will produce excellence in life.

How we build Character Step-by-Step at Karate Kids For Christ

1st – Through prayer and petition 

God is the source of all character. It is through the power of God that we can carry out Christ-like character in our life. Demonstrating character is not possible without a change in heart, and this requires the power of God moving in our life.

The ‘secret’ to building character in ourselves is knowing that it is impossible by ourselves apart from God's grace! The bible is very clear that we are not capable of developing perfect character or keeping the Law of God.  (Rom 3:20)  Our life is full of tests and trials and ‘impossible’ situations. Why? Partially so that we will be aware of our total dependence upon God and cry out to Him for help and power.

2nd – By Modeling Good Character 

The best way to teach is by example: it works a lot better to pull a string than to push it.

3rd  – By Praising Good Character 

Since character determines our actions, it is more beneficial to praise character rather than achievement.  For example:

Achievement:  “Your room looks good – thanks for cleaning it.”

Character: “Thank you for your orderliness and enthusiasm in cleaning your room.  I can tell you put your heart into it.”

“Getting the job done via achievement” may allow for cutting corners, like stuffing junk under beds and in closets, while character will not.

4th – By Teaching Good Character 

The more your child knows about and understands a character quality, the easier it is for her to apply it to everyday life.  We will teach your child:

A specific character definition that is action-oriented, so your child will not only know the right thing to do but will practice it

Attentiveness is showing the worth of a person by giving my full concentration to his or her words.

We will also teach your child the opposite of  the quality because this helps to clarify its meaning.  Just as character qualities are linked to success, their opposites lead to failure.

Attentiveness vs. Distraction

We give your child  illustrations from nature showing how God created different animals that demonstrate different character traits.  This is especially effective in teaching children.

We give your child historical examples from "hero’s of character" to demonstrate that these qualities stand the test of time and have rewarded all who practiced them.

We help your child learn and apply the scriptural reference for the character trait. 

Attentiveness Scripture Memory: "So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it." ( Hebrews 2:1)

5th – By Applying and Recognizing Good Character 

Until a quality is consistently demonstrated in the home, where our true selves tend to be most revealed, it has not yet been learned.

Developing character involves asking God to enable us and surrendering our will to Him,  then making a decision to apply a specific quality to everyday life.  The “I will” statements we teach your child help break down a quality into practical commitments.

As your child starts to apply specific qualities at home, rewards are given. 

How to Apply the "I wills" of Attentiveness to Your life:

I will look at people when they speak to me.

I will ask questions when I do not understand.

I will sit or stand up straight.

I will not draw attention to myself.

I will keep my eyes, ears, hands, feet, and mouth from distractions.

6th – By Correcting Character 

As teachers we have the responsibility to partner with you, the parent, to correct and mentor our students.  And in order for correction to be effective, there must be a proper relationship between the teacher, the student and the parent which is built upon true concern and genuine interest for your child.

In correcting children, teachers and parents must act immediately.  A disobedient child must learn personal responsibility by truthfully admitting what he did wrong.  

This is done by asking questions such as, “Were you truthful?”  Were you grateful?”  Once children see and agree how they were wrong, they can stop the wrong behavior, seek forgiveness and begin to apply good character. Proper correction involves a change of heart and a positive change in behavior.

Parents often tell us how they love the self-discipline their child is learning. They are excited to see that their children now have the desire to do their chores and are looking for ways to be helpful at home; without having to be told!

And now, by trying out our classes...

Your child can start developing these character traits!  Your child will enjoy the fun and excitement of an upbeat and positive Christian Martial Arts program that only requires two visits per week; and she will be developing “real life skills”... and will benefit immediately!

Because of your child’s:

Self control vs. Self-indulgence—your child will train to have instant obedience to the initial promptings of God’s Spirit, reject wrong desires and do what is right, follow rules and resist negative peer pressure!

Boldness vs. Fearfulness—your child will have the confidence that what she has to say or do is true, right and just in the sight of God.   She will have the courage to tackle all types opportunities that life has to offer her, skillfully and without fear!

In fact, once your child is in class, he will:

Feel better—beginning almost immediately 

Be healthier—as muscles tone up and physical well-being improves 

Think more clearly—and I don’t need to share with you the benefits of clear thinking in school or when faced with tempting choices!

(919) 817-8350  © Karate For Christ 2011 USMAI Inc.  Contact us by Email