By Joey and Carla Link
November 10, 2021
“Train up a child in the way he should go;even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6
Most Christian parents have heard this verse and often wonder what it means. We believe it means using the Bible in training our kids. If it says to be kind, it has no exceptions, so all of us, including each of our kids need to learn to be kind to anyone and everyone. (Philippians 4:6)
So why should we care about temperaments? Joey and I have been involved in family ministry for over 30 years now. Joey is a pastor counselor and my degree is in social work. We have worked with thousands of families over the years, including many hard marriages and troubled kids. In most of these situations, we talk about temperaments because when the weaknesses get out of control, the result on careers, school and most importantly relationships is often devastating.
Because of this we have come to the conclusion that each child’s God-given temperament has a lot to do with determining the “way he/she should go.” For each of your child’s strengths, there is an opposite weakness. Your strong-willed choleric child has the potential to make a fine leader someday, but at the same time can be bossy, demanding and has the need to control all situations he finds himself in. Your laid back, calm Phlegmatic is a born peacemaker and negotiator but at the same time is lazy and unmotivated. A sensitive, task-oriented Melancholy can be judgmental and a perfectionist and expect others to be as well. And your fun-loving, optimistic Sanguine? They are easily distracted and don’t follow through on what they say they will do. We want to encourage parents to show their kids how to build on their strengths and how to manage their weaknesses.
How can you find out what your children’s temperaments are? Ultimately, we encourage you to ask God to open your eyes to the traits that make up your child and ask Him to teach you how to train your children in the way He wants them to go.