"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." (~Helen Keller) It's an encouraging reminder for us when we go through trial and suffering. James 1:2-4 says: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
"May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me." (John 17:23) This verse made me think of the song, "They'll Know We Are Christians." We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord. We are one in the Spirit. We are one in the Lord. And we pray that all unity will one day be restored. And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love...
"Educating our children includes more than arithmetic and spelling; it includes building character. No educational pursuit can replace the deep need for a generation of children to be brought up first in the 'nurture and admonition' of the Lord." (~Rick Williamson) That's one of the reasons why we homeschool our kids :).
"Keep me from saying words that later need recalling; guard me, lest idle speech may from my lips befalling...When dangers gather round, oh, keep me calm and fearless; help me to bear the cross when life seems dark and cheerless. Help me, as You have taught to love both great and small, and by Your Spirit's might, to live at peace with all." (~Johann Heermann, 1585-1647, from his hymn, "O God, My Faithful God" in the book, Mr. Pipes And Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation, page 92) That's my prayer!
"In a sense we become gardeners tending the spiritual development of our kids. God places the spark of life in the seed. We can't control that or how the plant eventually matures. But we can make sure the soil is rich, the ground is generously watered, the weeds are kept at bay, and the opportunity for sunlight is freely available...In the long run, the goal of parenting isn't for our kids to be known for how well-behaved they are, but for how well they know and respond to God." (~Mark Matlock, from his book, Real World Parents, page 13) That's my goal, too.