What I Know to Be True About Character

What I Know to Be True About Character

I have about thirty minutes to write about character today. Thirty minutes is roughly how long my son’s nap music lasts. He stopped napping last week. He climbed out of his baby bed during nap time. I heard a thump followed by, “I did it!” He was so proud, and I watched five to ten hours of sanity slip through my fingers. Since the great escape, I try to make him stay in his new toddler bed to “rest.” I lost my religion more than once.

My character is on trial these days. It’s not just about losing the extra time to complete my to-do list. I also have a mischievous, over-tired kid every day. This stage of parenting stretches and pulls at me. Some days I break, other days I keep it together.

This is what I know to be true about character.


You can’t build character by reading a book about it.

It helps to fill your head and heart with truth, but until you apply that truth, it’s just words. Read God’s Word to know what it means to be a man or woman of character. Then get out there and do it!


Character develops in the hard places.

When my life is easy and calm, I rely on auto-pilot responses. When I am exhausted, stressed, angry, lonely—these are the moments I decide what kind of person I am. My character grows when I choose the better way in these hard places.


It happens when you think you can’t, but you do it anyway.

Brave conversations, difficult decisions, returning a soft answer to harsh criticism—all things we don’t feel equipped to do. But when we, in the strength of Christ, do these hard things, we shape the essence of our character.


What I Know to Be True About Character

The little ones watching you in those growing moments grow with you.

When character-defining moments occur, we grow. So do the little ones watching us. My girls find strength to make sacrifices for others when I serve them from my emptiness.


God waits on our character to fit our destiny.

The life of Joseph is the perfect example of a man whose character had to catch up to his destiny. Joseph grew from the prideful, naive dreamer in the field to the second in command of all of Egypt. He walked a hard road, and all of it prepared him for the monumental task of saving a nation and his family. God dreams big dreams for you; let Him prepare your character to fulfill those dreams.

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(A naked little person just came out of his room and let me know, “two underwears are wet.” What was that about hard places and little eyes watching? Post over, friends. While I grab some paper towels and cleaning spray, please keep reading to find out how to help!)


#FridayFive Link Up

This topic is more complex and important than my thirty minutes allow. Please join in the conversation. Share your thoughts on building character in the comments, or link up a character building post using the button below. #FridayFive link ups are open for two weeks, so feel free to come back later and add a link.

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Photo credit: Armitha Nisa and Dominique Feldwick-Davis via Pexels


  1. Love this topic today! And thanks for writing with humor as well — the word picture of your wee one climbing out from bed with “two underwears wet” is all too familiar!

  2. These are such wise and timely reminders! Thank you!

  3. Such wisdom here, Kelly! The little ones who sometimes push up to the brink of leaving godly character at the curb are the very ones watching to see how we respond from our wit’s end.

  4. I’m so thankful I read this. Character does build in the hard places. It’s so easy to lose sight of that and live out of our discouragement and pain…thinking it will never end. It’s so important to stay saturated in scripture. Keep thinking of Eph. 6.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement. It was fun reading your post.

  6. This was a wonderful read, Kelly. Fun, true and challenging. And all in 30 minutes! Phew!! Well done, friend.

  7. Thank you for talking about character! Even though I’m not a mom, it was a reminder I needed today.

  8. You amaze me that you got it done and done so well. Truly that is a testament to YOUR character. I always love your words.

  9. For real – 30 minutes?? You amaze me! Oh, how I remember the switch to the toddler bed all too well. This too shall pass.

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