Lilla Cabot Perry
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,
But we rather have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Whatever we, as adults, value on a daily basis, is what our children will learn to value.
The ways we invest our time in all the moments of our days is what we are teaching our children to value.
Building virtue must be a habit of the teacher's life before she can pass it on to a student. If we want our children to love God, we must love God in front of them--every hour, every minute, every reaction. And when we fail, we must lead them to the mercy and forgiveness of God, that we have humbled ourselves to show them, that they may understand His mercy and grace.
If we want them to love reading, we must be reading in front of them.
If we want them to value working with a joyful heart, then we must show them the value of work by our own sacrifice and good attitude.
Virtue is won in a soul by daily commitments to all that is excellent.
When we focus our own hearts and lives on all that is excellent, then our children understand what it means to choose, "Whatever is true, honest, just, right, pure, lovely, if there is any virtue, if there is any praise, think on these things." Philippians 4: 8
They will have memorized the verse, but then they will have tasted by the model of seeing in chosen in all the minutes of the day by us, their model of virtue lived out. And the practice of learning to choose virtue in front of our children, the very habit of obedience to Christ, will produce in us as well as our children, the character of Christ.
Jesus said, If you love me, obey me. If we obey Him as the practice of our own life virtue, then we will become more mature and reflect His righteousness as we practice His ways, little by little, and so give our children an appetite for all that is right.