There is the choice to be miserable or have joy, to experience
forgiveness or bitterness, to procrastinate or be diligent, to be positive or negative, to smile or grimace …you get the idea.
When the children were small and struggling with a negative action or attitude we would tell them just the Godly character we wanted them to have. For example if a little one was pouting we would say, “Show me your joy.” When a child struggled with letting go of a hurt even after reconciliation was made, we would tell that child, “Choose forgiveness.” A child that was being negative about the day would be challenged with “Let’s list out blessings: warm house, good food, loving parents, …”
Now that our children are in their teens, we are more likely to
challenge a negative attitude or action by pointing out their choice. If a child starts relaying an injustice done to them we will say, “OK, you have a choice, forgive or become bitter.” This is the concept found in Ephesians 4:31, 32 “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
When a teen is procrastinating we will say, “You have a choice, keep doing nothing or take a step toward accomplishing your task.” Our hope is for them to choose the principle in IITimothy 4: 15, “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.”
Recognize the two choices in every situation and relay the choice
of wisdom to your children, then as they grow they will be able to make the Godly choice on their own.