Article by Scott Bolin
In today’s world of political positioning, we hear a lot of discussion about family values. In fact, there are countless organizations committed to what is called ‘family values;’ all of them declaring some form of family values and demanding that our government reform legislation to protect these values. We have countless politicians taking a stand on the side of the family to garner votes during election. But, where are their values?
In fact, many of us in Christian circles declare we stand for family values & have heated discussions with those who disagree. Yet, where are our values?
I must admit, as the father of ten children and a member of the Christian faith, when people stand on a platform of protecting marriage and saving innocent babies from murder, it tends to get my approval and support. But, one must ask after more than 25 years of debate and political positioning, “Have we been successful in the area of family values?”
The answer is yes and no. Yes-If you consider establishing a political movement that keeps the importance of family on everyone’s mind and fights to keep religious freedom alive. Yes-If you think reminding people of the importance of the traditional family unit and its significance to society as a whole. No- If you expect to look at society as a whole after more than twenty-five years of debate and see a changed people. No- If you are expecting the government to step up and do the right thing by abolishing abortion, gay marriage, drugs, ect.
The biggest problem with family values is that as much as we like the term and stand behind it, we have great difficulty defining it. It is for that reason I have posed the question, “What are family values?”
The original intent of the family values movement was to declare the importance of the traditional family model of one man and one woman joined in marriage and dedicated to raising children according to the principles of God’s Word.
Now, many of us will say, “Amen” to that and declare, “Let’s get back to the basic principles that made us great”, but what are these basic principles? You see, the images that come to mind when we say “family values” is that of social reforms, not necessarily issues of the family. So, let’s forget about the social reform and talk about how you value your family. You see, that is really what family values deals with: what or how much do I value my family.
Value is the question for all of us. Value is defined in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as ‘to rate at a high price, to esteem, to take account of, to consider with respect and importance.’ I know that, if many of us that say amen to family values, truly valued our families then we would not find it so difficult to spend time with our families. The Bible says in Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I think this verse clarifies for us what true family values consist of and what is necessary to preserve the family today. It is not about changing society that moms and dads need to concern themselves with. It is placing the right value on family and the things of family that we need to be concerned with. Would we see a 52% divorce rate in this nation if husbands and wives valued their marriage? Would we see women going to abortion clinics if they truly valued life? Would we see the vulgar displays of sexuality in society today if people valued their bodies and God’s design of morality? You see, all of our social ills come back to some fundamental flaws of the family.
If we will begin to value spending time with our families more than we value entertaining them with toys, media, and theme parks; or if we, as a society, will quit borrowing from tomorrow’s peace to purchase the pleasure of today – then we will see a peace in the present and hope for the future. It is interesting to me that despite all our rhetoric, we as Christians in our actions place no higher value on family than any other group in our society.
I read an interesting article from Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Ministries a few months ago… “If the Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing, why is it that we as Christians apply for a curse and reject a blessing.” Pretty deep stuff, don’t you think? Think about this the next time you find yourself, like me, stressing to satisfy your creditors while ignoring your son’s request to throw a ball or take a hike. It kind of puts things in perspective when you consider Matthew 6:21