Teaching Values Using For Instruction in Righteousness

Welcome to day six of my 10 Days of Teaching Values in your homeschool series! Today I’d like to share my very favorite resource for supporting me in the teaching of Biblical values – For Instruction in Righteousness : A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training by Pam Forster.

How We Use For Instruction in Righteousness

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Why do I like this book so much? I use it all the time! In the previous five days of this series I’ve already mentioned it twice – as a resource to help me turn living literature into character training lessons and as my go-to help when trying to discipline in a way that reaches the heart. Today, I’d like give you a brief overview of the book then show you how I’ve used it.

A Peek into For Instruction in Righteousness

Pam Forster has packed this reference full-to-the-brim, covering more than 50 undesirable character traits. Undesirable character traits? Yes, which is why it’s such a great resource! When you find your child caught up in a lie or battling with anger, you can easily use the table of contents to find the problem area and be led to a world of helps!

Within each section, you find:

  • Bible verses and Bible stories that speak about the sin (bad character trait)
  • References to Bible verses and stories that illustrate the results of the sin
  • Simple ideas for creative discipline
  • Bible verses that speak of the blessings from “doing the opposite”
  • References to Bible stories that illustrate the blessings that result from “doing the opposite”
  • A few Bible verses appropriate for memorization on the topic

Let’s go through one chapter as an example.  In the chapter called “Complaining/Ingratitude” you will find several Bible references showing people who have grumbled against God, who are lovers of themselves, and who forget God’s blessings. These verses are followed by references to what happens to people in the Bible who live in this sin – like the children of Israel dying in the wilderness and not having the privilege of entering the Promised Land. Upon reading about the children of Israel, the author suggests that you might remind your child of his complaining/ingratitude by giving him more work if he continues to grumble about tasks set before him.

After what I like to call the chastising for poor character qualities, there are always answers from the Word that bring hope! In this chapter, the focus turns to verses and stories that show the blessings people receive when they are thankful – the opposite of a complainer or ungrateful person. In this instance, you are directed such stories as Ruth and Naomi or Rahab. And the chapter always ends with pertinent, often uplifting verses to hide in your heart.

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col. 3:17

Think of it. For just about any character issue your child is struggling with (or you for that matter), this guide will get you started on Biblical advice against the issue and what to replace the behavior with!

How do I use For Instruction in Righteousness?

As a Bible Study Guide

There have been times, we have simply gone through the book with our Bibles in hand and studied together on a topic for a day, a week or longer. It doesn’t get any easier. We look up verses and have discussions. Everything is there for you. These discussion times have been really good.

With Literature Character Lessons

As mentioned on day 2 of this series, we will often read picture books or chapter books and turn them into a character lesson. When discussing the flaws of a certain character, it’s nice to have For Instruction in Righteousness nearby. We’ll often talk about what God has to say about the flaw and this book is invaluable for finding His thoughts.

Using it in Discipline

Again, as I mentioned on day 5 of this series, I try (my darnedest) to discipline in a way that gets to the heart of the issues. That often involves bringing God’s Word into our discipline discussions. If my children don’t understand why we do or don’t act a certain way, then discipline is fairly worthless. So, in trying to help them learn our values, which are God’s values, I am constantly pulling out For Instruction in Righteousness to lead me to those heart-grabbing verses that deal specifically with the issue at hand. It’s a topical Bible reference that speaks directly to discipline issues!

Do you own For Instruction in Righteousness? How do you use it? 

Tomorrow’s post…Practical Lesson Ideas to Teach Values.

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