The Great Wall of China is one of the great wonders of the world, a true masterpiece of engineering. I'm told that six horses could trot side by side on top of it. I've walked on it, and I was amazed to see this massive structure snake its way through the mountains.
China built the wall to protect it from invasion. But in the first 100 years after the wall was completed, enemies invaded the country three times. Do you know how?
The invaders didn't go over the wall. They didn't smash holes through it, or burn it down. Instead, they bribed the gatekeepers. While China was building this amazing defense system, it neglected its children by failing to build character in their lives--the type of character that could withstand temptation.
I think of that story whenever I hear parents talk of the dreams and goals they have for their children. Many parents today are vitally concerned with the education their kids receive and the skills they develop. They spend hours shuttling them to school and to various extracurricular activities. They look forward to the day when their children will enter the working world and establish successful and lucrative careers.
One thing is often missing in these dreams and plans, however: Character development.
Too many parents are more concerned with IQ than with CQ--character quotient.
In the end, your child's character will provide the foundation for his life. I believe the leadership crisis we are facing in our government, in our businesses, and in the church are all traced back to this issue of character.
As Omar Bradley, the famous World War II general said, "We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants."