Self-control also increases health. Learn to control your appetites for food and drink, and you can increase health. Statistics show that obesity, for example, decreases health and increases risk of disease and death. Exercise self-control and you overcome obesity.
Contentment and peace quickly make inroads on stress and hypertension. You get similar results when you build forgiveness and mercy.
Temperance, a neglected but powerful entry on the list of character traits, puts better health within reach of those overcome by alcohol.
You may already be listing other character traits that affect health. Does it amaze you to see how many make the list? Go ahead and list them. Write the benefits beside each one. Engage family members who are old enough to work with you.
The point is that the stronger we build individual character traits, the more we increase health with character. We remain mortal, but we prevent many health problems.
When I say you can increase love with character, please don’t assume I’m speaking only to couples. We’re going to look at increasing love among all family members.
During the 11 years we lived in Japan, we marveled at the arranged marriages. They did not all end in success, but many did. A “go-between” introduced the prospective bride and groom. They and their parents sat on the floor around a low table, the girl not permitted to peek at the chosen man, but the man allowed to study her. Families exchanged health and wealth backgrounds to avoid marrying sickness, or marrying down. A satisfied “go-between” arranged the wedding. The couple might get a quiet walk together, but not necessarily. Solemn weddings could precede teary honeymoons. Nonetheless, they worked at learning to love, succeeded, and rarely divorced.
That probably doesn’t sound like the way you met and married, if you did marry. Like an arranged marriage, though, your marriage requires love, and that love increases with character. The same traits increase love throughout your family.
Love, on the list of 66 character traits, may find itself at the bottom of the list as far as understanding goes. Real love not only feels – it acts! If you show real love, you show affection to your family members, but you also act to know what is best for each one. Then you act to do what is best for each person, even if that requires personal sacrifice on your part. I know that doesn’t fit the picture of many marriages and families, but if you want to show real love, you will paint it into the picture with bold strokes.
Such love is vital in all relationships, on both sides of the equation. Husband acts this way toward wife and wife toward husband. Parents act this way toward children and children toward parents and each other. Build this character trait into your family life, and you will get a home with far less quarreling and yelling! Incidentally, teachers also benefit when they manifest this character trait.
Love increases love as it grows back and forth from one to another!
Appreciation also acts to increase real love. I do not refer to appreciation that you seek from another, though. You must exercise appreciation toward others if you hope to increase love. Appreciate the little things they do, whether for you or for someone else. It takes practice, but it increases love.
Trustworthiness assures and increases love strongly. My husband and I have shown trustworthiness to one another for more than 50 years now, and we both agree that this trait helps keep our marriage strong. If you are still looking for Mr. or Miss Right, by all means, look for this character trait. Build it in yourself, and others will love you more.
Forgiveness walks hand in hand with trustworthiness. I dislike the statement, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Expressing your sorrow over something you did that was not for the good of the other requires self-sacrifice. The person who wants never to say, “I’m sorry” runs from self-sacrifice – and yet that sacrifice is a requirement for real love. You make it difficult for the other person to exercise forgiveness if you never say you’re sorry. To define love that way is to decrease love rather than increase love.
For years, I have worked with a list of 66 character traits. That list of character traits may or may not encompass all possibilities, but each one on the list contributes to love in our lives. The more you build into your life, the easier it will be for others to love you.
Can you really increase safety with character? Can you increase safety for both you and your other family members? Yes.
Make life safer for all of you. Simply become people of character and you will stop going to places of harm. I am not insinuating that a magic character shield prevents harm from touching you. Notice as you continue reading that I use words such as helps, less likely, tend, seem, relatively, etc. Nevertheless, you can increase safety with character.
Integrity, honesty, and truthfulness work together as a trio of traits to increase safety for you and your family. If you exercise these traits, you will find yourself less likely to become involved with dangerous individuals. You will choose paths for your life journey that criminal minds detest. These traits act as salt that fights against the rot that develops in dangerous neighborhoods.
You will find it less likely, too, that you face danger when you build discretion, discernment, and observance. These character traits help you stay aware of your surroundings. Such awareness increases safety for adult as well as child. In these days of increasing crime within our country, you will want to build these character traits into every child.
Self-control, which helped increase health, helps keep you and your children from engaging in physical or verbal fights that may lead to physical reprisal.
Punctuality will tend to keep you and your teenagers from loitering, standing idly around in places where you might become a target of crime.
Courage of convictions helps you and your children refrain from group pressure that might lead you into danger.
Increase health, love, and safety with character in your home and you all will experience much happier life journeys – wherever those journeys take you.