Written by David Beart
What are family values? When politicians leap to the podium and begin talking about restoring family values, which values are they talking about? Family values can mean many things to different people, and so leaving family values in the hands of politicians means exactly what?
Some attribute family values to the basic biblical principles while others focus family values on discipline and the responsibility factors of becoming an adult. Many people claim that today’s parents are too soft on kids, and that society has become over sensitive to children. Some believe that spanking your child in public is a parental right while others believe that spanking is abusive and teaches fear and violence. Who is right?
Some interpret the meaning of family values to be the value of family, as in traditional families with a mother and a father and the family dog. Others interpret family values to mean the value of family, the value of providing children a warm safe place to learn and to grow, to return everyday from the world and know they are loved and learn to be responsible adults.
By interpreting family values as a definition of family, of what others believe is the “right kind” of family, who are we hurting? We certainly aren’t hurting the adults of the family. When we point to a single parent family, an inter-racial family, a homosexual family, or any family that someone’s imagination decided wasn’t the “proper” family, and we abandon their right to be considered a family, it’s the children who get hurt. The children’s self esteem and identity in the world suffers, and the children learn to hate each other for the decisions their parents have made.
Family values are supposed to be out the quality of the family. That means principles of love, tolerance, acceptance, responsibility, safety, and the family’s ability to do the right thing while out in the world and under their own roof.
Family values lay in the hands of every individual family, and whether or not they exercise their ability to give to the world positive and effective influence. Every day people have the power to teach their children positive influence or negative influence. Every day children have the option to either be positive forces or negative forces. Families with strong family values are those who motivate their children to be positive forces in the world, and who lead them by example.
When politician make promises of…
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