Truth or Consequences
Ok. I'm sorry that this is not about the game show or Bob Barker. It is about character and conscience.
From the time I was a small child, my parents taught me about right and wrong. At first they taught me using consequences. If I did wrong I had to deal with the consequences. Sometimes this was discipline sometimes it was dealing with my own mess. That is effective for a while. But that kind of parenting has an expiration date. If that is the only plan then children grow up to be as mischievous as they can get away with being.
There comes a time when one has to do what is right because it is right. A man of virtue loves virtue. Making decisions based on what is right, not what is allowed, is the earmark of virtue. So, am I a man of virtue? Will my children love virtue?
I think loving virtue and passing that love to my children is the very essence of being a father. Every person has some sense of right and wrong. Every person has a conscience. Not every conscience is armed with the weapons to combat temptation. My parents saw to it that my conscience had a full arsenal. My job is to do the same.
Apathy and cowardice are the natural consequence of not having that arsenal. It is easy to rationalize away the right thing because one’s conscience doesn’t have the ammunition to deal with a situation. This arsenal should be filled with sound teaching about right, wrong and why. Right and wrong can be rationalized away unless one has a foundation for why something is right or wrong. Our consciences are easily dismissed without that moral compass.
Lord God Almighty, bless me as I do what is right. Discipline me when I chose evil. Give me the strength to do right when it his hard to do. Fill my heart with fervor for righteousness. Bless my teaching to my children. May my example be good. Blind them to my weaknesses and accentuate my strengths. May my children have the wisdom and the desire to do what is right no matter what. Your teaching is perfect and revives the soul. May they love your precepts even more than I do.