The Apostle Paul is practical. Straightforward. He doesn’t mince words.
In his letter to Timothy, he gives detailed qualifications for church leaders.
For the church to be healthy, it’s leaders need to live lives marked by high standards. Truly, we all do.
These traits are not talents, giftedness or what you’d likely see on a resume; but these are all marks of strong, godly character.
And strong godly character comes from applying God’s Word to our lives in a way that our behavior is impacted.
Paul says those who desire to serve in leadership positions in the church will have lives of character marked by things like the following (I referred to this passage yesterday but it’s worthy to read again)
“Blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (1 Tim 3:2-7)
Paul goes on to list similar attributes for deacons ( see 1Tim 3:8-13)
These attributes are worthy goals for all of us and what we should be teaching our kids.
And here’s something to note – in a world where feelings are emphasized over truth, godly characteristics (like those Paul lists) come from the discipline of applying truth to our feelings.
An undisciplined person will give into their feelings without restraint and will ultimately lead an ungodly life full of the opposite characteristics to the list above displayed in unfaithfulness, drunkenness, unruliness , violence , greed, quarreling, unable to control himself or his children.
Parents, if we want to raise godly children we have to discipline them to walk in truth from the Word of God and even, and especially, when that truth contradicts the feelings of the moment (their flesh). This is how they learn self-control that will produce godly character.
And godly character produces hope! (Paul tells us that in Rom 5:4)
If we want our children to have REAL HOPE that will last them long after we are gone, we need to do the work of teaching them how to apply the Word of God (truth) to their feelings.
Is it easy? Nope!
But the one who called you to do this, He is faithful (1 Thess 5:24). He will give you what you need as you seek Him each day, AND AS you apply the Word to your own life.