Character education

Recent studies of youngsters between the ages of eleven and fourteen reveal a disturbing fact. Many have little if any sound sense regarding moral and ethical issues. Youngsters who come from homes where the parents have a strong religious faith, however, stand out dramatically from this norm. While they may or may not behave better, they know that shoplifting, for example, is not a game or a challenge, but stealing. They don't subscribe to the philosophy that it's getting caught that is wrong. They understand that abstaining from sexual activity outside marriage is considered to be a virtue. Unlike most of their peers they have a moral and ethical compass that can guide them through a challenging time of their lives.

This should encourage readers of this magazine to persist in sharing those teachings of the Bible that give young people the ability to judge between right and wrong. Honesty, unselfishness, consideration of others, self-control, trustworthiness, are significant ideals that parents and Sunday School teachers can cultivate in youngsters through example and precept. The Ten Commandments and Christ Jesus' Sermon on the Mount provide the basis for such education. Additionally, the Scriptures provide practical illustrations of the benefits of heeding this instruction and show the suffering and sorrow that come when one doesn't.

Dash—in God's care!
November 29, 1993

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