Monday, January 03, 2011

Desire. Choice. Consequence.

I love stories and enjoy musing about their structure and what makes them work (or not work.) If we are to understand the grand story of redemption that God is currently writing, and our own stories within the grand story, then we simply must understand the nature and flow of story.

I recently read this article by Jonathan Rogers that appeared on website that I frequent and found some helpful insights into both the structure of story and how to use it to form godly character in our children (and grandchildren.) You can read the full article here, and here (below) is an excerpt to pique your interest. Enjoy.

Desire. Choice. Consequence. It’s what character is made of too.

It is that parallel between story development and character development that makes story such a valuable tool in shaping your child’s character. In the midst of life’s battles, it can be hard for a child—for any of us—to step back far enough to see the connection between desire, choice, and consequence. In a well-told story, on the other hand, it is easier to see the big picture, even as we inhabit it in a small way.

If you are going to use stories as a means of shaping your child’s character, it is important, of course, to find stories that teach the right things. But that is not the only important thing; it is at least as important that you get in the habit of talking to your child about the stories he or she experiences. Help your child see the connection between desire, choice, and consequence by asking questions like these about the stories you read together:

- Why do you think the character made that choice? What was he trying to get?
- Did that choice get him what he wanted?
- What else did it get him?
- What was the cost of that choice?
- Do you think the choice was worth the cost?

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