Loyalty sets true friends apart from the rest of the pack. When we make the conscious decision to be true to our values, disloyal “friends” should be either downgraded to acquaintances or removed from our lives altogether. Either way, banishing disloyalty from our inner circle reduces our exposure to those who would betray us and our family.
Simultaneously, loyalty is one of the most important and complicated of all virtues. Loyalty to our values can sometimes oppose our loyalty to others, making it a very difficult concept to teach, especially to children. Introducing one abstract concept is already challenging, never mind bringing together two or three or more competing interests.
Loyal people keep promises. They have each other’s back. Friendships truly matter. What if we find ourselves making promises that cause us discomfort? What if we find ourselves in a vulnerable situation due to misguided loyalty to friends of questionable character? As we introduce the concept of loyalty to the innocent minds of children, how do we reconcile these inevitable conflicts? It’s simple. We don’t have to; when we are true to our values, perceptions of duality are only a mirage.
Fortunately, all children have nature, and most have nurture. Every baby is born with an internal moral compass. Fathers have a God-given duty to instill values that are correct and good, to teach that when something doesn’t feel right, it’s ok to trust our intuition. God’s nature, supported by a father’s nurture, help children develop into value-oriented, loyal, and socially responsible adults.
Lead by Example
The roots of loyalty begin at home. Household attitudes and behaviors displayed by parents and siblings can either stunt or nourish this all-important virtue. Children notice everything; if dad is constantly complaining about or bad-mouthing people, we impart on kids’ negative disloyal energy. If children consistently witness deeply rooted camaraderie synonymous with long-term friendships, dad plants the seeds of loyalty.
Children first experience loyalty (or disloyalty) within the family unit. The combination of honesty, love, and mutual respect, delivered consistently, grows into loyalty. Eating dinner as a family, spending time together, appreciating each other, and engaging in meaningful conversations can all help us develop unbreakable bonds of unity. Over time, acts of love assure children that they can always depend on family.
Conflict & Truth
Reassure children that when conflicts arise, friendships don’t need to end. Differences shouldn’t only be acceptable—they should be embraced. By agreeing to disagree, friendships can reach new levels of trust as we evolve to have a deeper understanding of each other. It is so important to remember, honesty is required for loyalty. We might not agree with each other, and that’s ok. Real friends want and deserve the truth.
If we are disloyal to our values, we allow the truth to be compromised; loyalty demands the truth. Without loyalty, our relationships have neither breadth nor depth. Although human nature should theoretically auto-correct disloyal attitudes and behaviors, nature only makes up half of the learning. With nurture, fathers teach children the other half, so kids learn to do the right thing, every time.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” —Romans 8:38-39 KJV
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is given a chance to break into the Ice Court—a military stronghold that has never been breached—and retrieve a hostage whose knowledge could change Grisha magic forever. One impossible heist. Together they might just be unstoppable—if they don’t kill each other first.
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with only two things in common: good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. There will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life at sea and Amos has gone back to life on dry land, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale.
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