What’s More Important? The ABCs or the CCCs?

Welcome to the end of summer!

No more lazy days by the pool or late nights chasing fireflies. Nope, it’s time for backpacks, pencils, notebooks, and day planners. Like it or not, summer’s ending and the school year is upon us.


Whether we homeschool, private school, or send our kids to public school, the nine months of the school calendar are, in my opinion, nine of the most distracting months in our parenting year.

There’s no way to avoid the distraction of grades, activities, and academic due dates. As concerned parents we naturally want our children to do their best and be successful in their school year endeavors.

Unfortunately, the distracting nature of the ABCs too often causes us to neglect the need to concentrate on the more important CCCs. As we focus on our children’s academic and social success, we run the risk of disregarding the need for true biblical success in our children’s lives… The success found in a thriving walk with the Lord and hearts intent on becoming more like Jesus.

So what are the all-important CCCs? Simply stated, they are character, commitment, and courage. These three qualities, when they are growing and being nurtured, will lay the foundation for true success for our children.

These qualities will enable them to serve God by loving others and love others by serving God.

As your children embark on this new school year may I encourage you to do a little evaluating? Ask the hard questions of your children and yourself and determine how prepared your children are for what lies ahead.

How is their character? Are your children daily seeking to become more like Jesus? Are they practicing character qualities like compassion, and faithfulness, and respect? Are they learning to elevate virtues like patience, diligence, and honesty over how they “feel” at the moment. Are they spending time learning about Jesus in order to be more like Jesus?

How is their level of commitment? Do they understand the importance of family? Are they willing to stand for what is right… even if everyone else chooses wrong? Do they know what they believe and perhaps more importantly, why they believe what they believe?

Our world is in desperate need of courageous young people. Do our children possess the courage they will need to stand up and be different? The courage they will need to represent Christ in an increasingly non-Christian environment? When tested, are they prepared to choose courage over comfort?

Our children absolutely need to read well. They need to write clearly. They need to understand numbers, and finances, and balanced budgets. Those things are important. Those subjects encompass the ABCs. But the real power, the real success in life, comes as our children embrace their CCCs.

Don’t let the busyness of an academic and social schedule distract you from the urgency of Christ-centered character training.

May this year be a wonderful year of character, commitment, and courage!