It has been said, “As the family goes, so goes the nation.” For years now, we have been experiencing a values vacuum in America. We’ve been living in a permissive society where basically anything goes, and now, we’re reaping the results.
We often hear people say we need to get back to family values, but nobody is defining what those values are. It’s politically correct to believe in family values, but it’s not politically correct to get specific about what those values really are.
So what are values? Values are important and lasting beliefs or ideals. Values are those elements of your life that are vitally important to you. They are those core beliefs that guide you on how to conduct your life in a way that is meaningful and satisfying.
Values are the things against which you measure your choices, whether consciously or not. Like a compass, they provide direction and clarity for our lives.
Values can come from a variety of sources. You may share some of the values of the people around you (your family, friends, colleagues, etc.) On a broader scale, you may pick up certain values by being a part of a social, ethnic or economic group.
Values can be dictated, to some extent, by your personality. Values emerge from a combination of background and experiences. Social media is now helping shape the values of a new generation.
Certain values may remain constant throughout your life, while others evolve and develop over the course of time. Changing values can be good, and changing values can be bad. Changing values are good when they represent growth and maturity.
Changing values are bad when they represent a deterioration of or deviation from God’s standards. That’s why the Word of God must remain the foundational source for determining our values personally and as families.
It is no secret that the media has been a major contributor and influence of values in American culture. If you have lived long enough, you have seen how the influence of the media has caused a major shift in regard to morality, ethics and values in contemporary families. Think about the differing values from “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson,” compared to “The Cosby Show,” “The Simpsons” or today’s “Modern Family.”
People say, “We’ve got to get back to traditional family values.” Where do traditional family values come from? Did you know that God gave us 10 values for family living? We call them the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). These values will be our focus over the next few weeks.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.