Former presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan has written several fine books. One has a title that stands out above the rest. It is the one she wrote about our fortieth president, Ronald Reagan: When Character Was King.
By Charles Swindoll for DTS Voice
In the book, she writes, “The one thing a man must bring into the White House, if he is to succeed, is a character that people come to recognize as high, sturdy, and reliable.”
I fully agree. It’s the absence of “high, sturdy, and reliable” character that troubles me the most about our current culture. Today, character has lost its crown; it is conspicuous by its absence.
We live our lives in a day when moral purity and ethical strength are rare, even though they are invaluable in every career, trade, and calling. The presence of character is needed as much among educators as it is among journalists, physicians, plumbers, carpenters, attorneys, coaches, referees, and athletes for that matter.
Professors, as well as pastors, corporate leaders, and those who engage in sales, need character. It is needed by those who serve as judges as well as those who occupy a seat on the jury. Character belongs in our military, for those taking orders as well as those giving them. While I’m at it, I’m going to add the obvious – parents need character too, because character starts with a mother and a father who take the time to sit with their children and explain what it means to have a reliable, high, and sturdy character.
Let’s remember it doesn’t get much better than spending time with our kids – and, over time, with grandchildren – especially those moments of teaching, addressing, and modeling great character. It will not happen on its own. Ideally, it is first crowned in the home.