Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he wil not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Putting this command into practice offers many challenges.  There is not a chapter in the Bible dedicated to child-rearing.  However, there is much to learn!

One of the ways we train our children is to teach them character traits that honor the LORD.  Using a series of booklets from Keepers of the Faith called, Write Upon My Heart, has made this task a bit easier.  By focusing on Scriptures throughout the Bible, these booklets lead us into a clear understanding of how our “good habits become good character.” 

We have covered three subjects so far, contentment, obedience and diligence.  Yesterday, we began willingness and this one immediately hit home!

Here’s the beginning poem:


If I am slow to respond when asked,
If I cannot find happiness in meeting other’s needs,
If my own enjoyments loom important,
I know nothing yet of willingness.



Each of us were struck by the convicting truth of these words.  Stories and examples of our unwillingness easily came to mind.  We readily agreed how much we were willing to NOT put other’s need before our own, and how willing we were to obey when WE were ready.   

As we continued, a powerful definition of willingness was given.  “The word ‘willingness’ means to have freedom from reluctance; to have the readiness of mind to act in the interest of others or forbear in our own.”

Freedom from reluctance



It made our minds twist!  Seeing the definition from that perspective was eye-opening!  Freeing! 

Think about it.  We don’t have to be reluctant.  It’s as if reluctance is a sin to be avoided.  What a paradigm shift! 

It’s going to take some serious meditation on that concept for it to sink into this thick head-o’-mine!  AND, continuous prayer for a willing heart.  AND, if we think it is hard, as adults, to be willing, think how our children must struggle, too.  We must endeavor to model this character trait for our children.

May our gracious LORD grant us freedom from our reluctance.