As parents, it’s often easier to let our kids operate in grey territory. Riding the fence never hurt anyone, did it?
I’m so tired most days that when it comes to tough decision making, I’m too pooped to want to engage.
Who wants to be the bad guy?
It’s much easier to keep the peace at home when we allow our kids to do whatever they want.
After all, they’re not hurting anything. We spend so much of our time trying to appease our kids in order to maintain peace, that we often feel overwhelmed by the thought of calling them to live lives of holiness.
Why is it even important to teach this to our kids? “To raise children without sound values means raising children who don’t know what they believe or who they are, both of which are vital parts of building a good self esteem.” (Dr. Kevin Leman Bringing Kids Up Without Tearing Them Down). Wow, so you mean that in order for my kids to have a healthy self-image, they’ve got to know firmly what they believe?! You bet.
God’s Word is black and white (2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking, and training in righteousness” NIV). He calls us all to live lives of holiness. How will you instill this within your kids? How can we get them to make decisions about right and wrong when it comes to living their lives?
1) Sit down as a family and make a list of your family values. Honesty, humility, forgiveness, etc. Maybe frame and post it where everyone can see it on a regular basis. These values are your absolutes. No gray areas when it comes to these things.
2) Teach them very early that it’s going be tough to figure out the difference between right and wrong. Establish a family covenant that each member of the family agrees to follow when it comes to media (media is one of the biggest “grey” areas in our
homes today). Talk about what ratings of movies, tv shows, music, books, etc. that are acceptable. Mom and Dad must agree to standards for themselves too. When kids see that mom and dad are serious about heart purity, they will be too.
3) Rehearse your values often. Current culture has the “if it feels good, do it” mindset. We teach kids so much of the time to follow their feelings. There will be times when we are too tired to argue with the kids over which movie they want to see or which video game they want to play, but reminding our kids of our values when these issues arise will help them establish a positive self-concept that will allow them to make great decisions as they age.
I want my girls to know and value truth. To be self-confident enough to stand up in the face of temptation. To lead the way in pointing out grey areas. I hope in my home there isn’t even one shade of grey, much less fifty.
What do you do to ensure that your kids learn Godly values?
Six Ways to
Keep the Little in Your Girl and Six Ways to Keep the Good in Your
Boy (both by Dannah Gresh)