Forging character PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 July 2015 11:20

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

One’ character defines that person and guides him in all the situations of his life. It gives a certain consistency to his thoughts, words and deeds, his choices and decisions, his reactions and over-all behavior. It is what gives focus, meaning and direction in all that he does.

It’s important then that we be aware of the need to forge the character proper to us as persons and, more importantly, as children of God. Our character should be one that is proper to a child of God. It is a character that knows how to deal with God, which is a matter of loving him with all our soul, mind and heart, and of loving others.

In any situation that we find ourselves in, our constant and ultimate criterion should be love of God and of others, a love that is shown to us by Christ. All other criteria and standards, like efficiency, convenience, practicality, etc., should be subordinated to this indispensable criterion.

To be sure, this ultimate criterion of loving God and others does not undermine the concern that we also ought to give to all the human and worldly values that are proper to us as well.

We need to say this because some quarters claim that giving priority to love of God and others would make us blind to these human standards and would lead us to be narrow-minded, up in the clouds, if not fanatical, bigoted and self-righteous.

Obviously, those latter accusations can be true if we do not know how to love God and others properly. ut if done the way God wants it done, that ultimate criterion of loving and others can only  enhance, purify and optimize all the other legitimate human and worldly standards that we ought to be subject to.

That is why this duty of forging the proper character is a great responsibility for everyone and should be felt first of all by parents with respect to their children. We can never overemphasize the indispensable role parents play with respect to helping their children forge the proper character, since they are the first educators of their children.

Parents should see to it that this concern of forging the proper character of their children is foremost in their mind. They obviously need to be properly equipped to carry out this delicate and abiding duty.

So they need to be clear about their life of faith and piety, and to be skilful in translating the ideals and truths of faith and morals into action, so as to give good example to their children and to be competent in giving timely pieces of advice, suggestions and corrections.

Parents have to closely monitor the developments of their children’s life, always sensing the things that are going well and also those things that may not be going well. They have to be prompt, active and resourceful in coming up with plans and strategies to help their children grow toward human and Christian maturity.

Parents, for example, should see if their children are developing virtues, if the kids know how to make use of their time, if they are learning how to be responsible, etc. Most importantly, parents should see to it that the children realize more and more deeply that they need to be motivated by love for God and for others.

One current issue that parents should try their best to be on top of is in the area of the use of the new technologies. They have to teach their children how to use these gadgets that can be both helpful and harmful.

With their knowledge of how their children are, and with proper study, consultation and prayers, they have to come up with clear and concrete guidelines as to how to use these new technologies, always emphasizing the positive side while making the children aware of the possible dangers.

It’s for this reason, among many others, that parents really need to spend quality time with their children. The family culture should be such that it is rich in customs, traditions and other practices that foster family life, togetherness and also life of faith and piety.

It’s in this quality time spent with the children when the parents would know whether the children are happy or not, are doing well or not, are growing in the virtues or not. It’s in this time that parents actually carry out their primordial duty to be the primary educators of their children.

In the end, it’s in this time spent with their children that parents continually forge the proper character of their children.