How often have you asked yourself what reputation your child has at school? Everybody who holds a job knows that at work you gain a reputation based on how hard you work, how you act, how often you call in sick, how much you talk, etc. We know this, we accept it, sometimes even have fun with it.
There was once a teacher who called out on a regular basis. Her boss was tired of getting the call in the morning that this teacher wouldn’t be coming in that day. One day the boss took all those sick days and wrote them on a blank calendar. She spread the calendar out on the floor and stared at it for several minutes wondering how she was going to inspire this teacher to stop leaving her coworkers high and dry. After a few minutes, she noticed a pattern. Wednesdays. The teacher always called out on Wednesdays. Whether she liked it or not, this teacher had developed a reputation, she had made a name for herself: Mrs. Never-on-a-Wednesday.
Adults easily accept this principle in the workplace, but have we considered that this doesn’t start at adulthood. Children make names for themselves as well. As an adult, we know that if we don’t want our reputation to be bad, we are in control of developing it to be good. It takes hard work, diligence, good habits, and time; but it is possible. Have we taught our children to do the same? Have we taught our children what it takes to have a reputation as a hard worker? A cheerful person? An encourager? What about a servant-leader? I have no doubt every parent would be thrilled to learn their children had any one of these reputations.
Proverbs 22:1 “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
Teaching children the Biblical principles they will need in order to develop and keep a good name is simple, and it starts with the parent’s love for God. While it is true that God commands children to obey and honor their parents; He also gave parents the specific responsibility of training their own children.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:1-4
The Bible tells us that having a good name is important. No amount of money can buy a good name, a good reputation. Only our own actions, our own habits and practices, our own morals, ethics, and character determine the sort of name we are given. It is no different for our children within their social circles, and by their authorities.
“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” ~Proverbs 20:11
You cannot purchase a good name for your child with their peers and authorities. But you absolutely can give them the tools they need to develop a good name and to hold on to that good name as they grow and mature into adults.
This is not a task for the faint of heart. Moses instructed Joshua how to proceed with this very important but daunting task:
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7
The most effective way to give your child the tools they need to develop a good name is to model good morals, ethics, and character for your children every minute of every day, just as Moses told Joshua to do in Deuteronomy.
by Amanda B. McKelroy