Today, Christian values have taken a back seat. Schools are often called on to function in lieu of the family, and it leads to the sad reality that the teaching of fundamental values is often lacking. This is in no way a negative on teachers. We overload them as it is, and we should not expect our teachers to play a leading role in this area – a supportive role, perhaps, but it remains the responsibility of the family to instill proper values, and that largely is not taking place as it should.
It is no secret that for the last few decades, values have changed significantly. The fear of God is unfortunately, fast disappearing. There is pressure to remove any mention of God from all aspects of public life. These changes are being reflected in many ways, and they are mirrored by our children and young people.
Many of the signs we see are disturbing. Basic manners are often lacking. There is disrespect shown to those who would base morals on the Bible, who are oftentimes referred to as “fundamentalists" by the media via printed material, radio, movies, and broadcast television.
The Apostle Paul aptly describes these times in his second letter to Timothy, where he says;
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with diverse lusts. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." — 2 Timothy 3:7-7
Teaching Christian beliefs and values is extremely important since it will govern how children will treat one another and be of service to others. In such trying times, it is up to the faithful to fulfill their duty and keep their Christian values alive and intact. The following Christian values will provide youngsters with an opportunity to develop spiritually. In this way, they may reflect on the bigger questions of life and refine their moral judgement in order to make better and wiser decisions. It will allow them to experience God in a more profound way – becoming better followers of Christ.
God first is a core Christian value, which means to continuously seek God’s righteousness and rely on Him completely. As Christians, we have the freedom of choice to decide what’s right or wrong, but if we put God first, we will look to God for what is right and what is wrong. We can only value God when we acknowledge that He knows better than we do when it comes to all things concerning life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4).
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matthew 6:33
While it is natural for children to place their faith on their parents, that faith and trust for their earthly parents should not go beyond their trust in the Lord. God is faithful, first of all, to his own nature in the sense that he does not alter in terms of his commitment to love, mercy, justice and compassion. Parents can teach their children to have faith in God by always reminding them that all good things come from God (James 1:17). Christians have faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This faith and attitude must permeate to other human relationships in our lives because we are called to love all people (Matthew 22:37-40).
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” — James 1:6
Love is a core Christian value. This unmerited favor is realized through God because of God’s unmerited favor and grace towards us. God offers His love to mankind in the form of eternal life, granted to us through Jesus Christ. The most fundamental characteristic of love is that it seeks to find the goodness in others, which leads us to our third Christian value.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” — Luke 6:35
The best way to teach our children compassion is by regularly practicing visible compassion in front of and as an example to them. This is why it is important to take part and get your kids involved in compassion projects, such as feeding programs, missions, and servant evangelism projects. It is important for us to make our children realize that compassion has a much stronger meaning than simply “feeling sorry for” someone.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:” — 1 Peter 4:10
It is important for children to be taught early on that they will need more than dreams, fantasy, and wishes – they need hope. Hope is a complex emotion. It is made up of a desire for something, and it has an expectation of fulfillment someday. Hope is not just wishful thinking, but a firm belief in God. Hope means trusting in God and His goodness. This is why Hope is called the anchor of the soul. Hope is coupled with faith and love as one of the three most enduring gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:13).
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
The values taught in the Bible often stand in opposition to worldly values. Humility is definitely one of those values. Humility is the opposite of pride, which caused Satan and many others to fall. True humility is a quality that every Christian man and woman desires. Of all the words that can be used to characterize Christ, humility is high on that list (Philippians 2). Humility is one of the most desperately needed character traits simply because so many other virtues flow from this quality.
“If anyone would be first, he must be the last of all and servant of all.” — Mark 9:35
The best way of teaching children integrity is to always remind them that even if people cannot see their deeds, God always does and rewards His flock accordingly. This is why the Bible is full of references to integrity, character, and moral purity. The fruits of integrity are honesty, trustworthiness and honor. Having integrity will ensure that we always do what is right - not only in our own eyes, but in the eyes of God.
“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” — Proverbs 21:3
By living and modeling these Christian values to your children, you can live your life to its fullness – you and your children.