America experiencing family values vacuum

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.

Everywhere you look, there are signs of eroding values in our nation. 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 they are.

Values represent important and lasting beliefs or ideals. Values are those elements of your life that are vitally important. 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, values provide direction and clarity for our lives.

But where do values come from? I suppose values come from many sources. We all share some of the values of the people around us (our family, friends, colleagues, etc.). On a broader scale, we may pick up certain values by being a part of a social, ethnic or religious group.

Values can be dictated, to some extent, by our personality. Values often emerge from a combination of background and experiences. Today, social media is 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 is good when they represent growth and maturity. Changing values is 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 or households of any size.

It is no secret that the media have been a major contributor and influencer of values in American culture. Through the media, most of us have seen the dramatic downward shift that has taken place in regard to morality, ethics and values in contemporary families.

Thousands of years ago, God gave 10 values for family living. We call them the Ten Commandments. These values are not faddish. They are not influenced by culture. They do not come and go. They are lasting values that have stood the test of time, and they will provide the focus for this column over the next few weeks.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.