Our values are those personal characteristics that we believe are important in both ourselves and others. Values are closely-related to morals, and are the driving force behind our priorities. I am going to look at a set of values which I believe should be important to anyone who is a follower of Christ – a Christian. Unfortunately these are not as common in American society as they were even fifty years ago. Values and morals have taken a serious beating, just in my lifetime. These values are often described as “traditional values”, or “Judeo-Christian values”, and the new one is “traditional-family-values”.
* Marriage: Traditional, one man/one woman marriage is under fire like it has never been before. There are people and groups trying to redefine “marriage” to also mean man-man and woman-woman, so-called same-sex “marriage”. God is the originator of what we know as marriage. Picking up the creation account from Genesis 2:
18) “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.””, 20) “but for Adam these was not found a helper suitable for him. 21) So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. 22) And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23) And the man said, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; She shall ne call Woman, becaue she was taken out of Man.” 24) For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25) And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”
We have allowed the State to become the “authority” for marriage, instead of God, which is what has allowed all these perversions of “marriage” to not only become possible, but are an increasing reality. Until God takes His rightful place as the Authority in marriage, we, as Christians, will continue to fight an uphill battle against Satan and his minions.
* Divorce: Divorce is rampant in American culture, to the point where we have a divorce-epidemic. Even though we may not be surprised that the divorce rate among non-christian couples is around 50%, the alarming part is that the divorce rate among Christian couples doesn’t lag very far behind.
The #1 cause of divorce is infidelity – adultery… The husband can’t keep his pants on around another woman, or the wife can’t keep her panties on around another man. Where has mutual-monogamy gone?
The #2 cause of divorce is poor communication… Lots of talk before the “I do’s” are said, but very little afterward. What happened to couples continuing to “date” after they get married?
The #4 cause of divorce is money… Not enough money? Can’t agree how to spend their money? Never together long enough to communicate?
The #5 cause of divorce is sexual incompatibility… WHAT??? He can’t? She won’t? While there may be valid reasons a couple isn’t “sexually-compatible”, if the reasons are medical, doctors can do a lot to help them along. Maybe the question should be: Are these perceived “sexual-incompatibility” issues the driving force behind infidelity being numero-uno (#1)? Sometimes “incompatibility” is the result of straight-out, unabashed SELF-CENTEREDNESS. I was in one of those nearly sex-less “marriages” for 8 1/2 years…I could and would – she wouldn’t.
Wrapping up my thoughts on divorce: What happened to “Til death do us part“? Has it instead become “Til death or dis-convenience do us part“? The Bible only recognizes two Scriptural grounds for divorce – adultery and desertion. With the advent of “no-fault” divorce, it seems that the impetus to stay together is gone. Any excuse will do… “Commitment” has gone down the tubes.
* Mutual-monogamy: There are a lot of excuses why couples are “swingers” or have an “open-marriage”, but none of them hold water when compared to the requirements of Scripture. While I might not be too surprised that un-believing couples swing or have an open-marriage, I was very surprised that there are Christians who are swingers and have an open-marriage. I was deeply-steeped in the Genesis 2:24 “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” way of thinking, so swinging doesn’t compute with me. If husband and wife become “one-flesh”, how can they even think about becoming “one-flesh” with another person or persons?
* Honesty: Honesty encompasses a host of other attributes, so I am only going to deal with it briefly here. An honest person will:
1) Tell the truth, even if it may hurt them.
2) File an accurate income-tax return.
3) Not over-charge anyone for goods or services.
4) Pay what they owe for goods and services.
5) Be who and what they say they are.
These are just a few examples. Unfortunately there are many people who are one thing to one group of people, and something entirely different to others. They are two, three, or even four-faced. One never knows “who” or “what” they are going to be at any given moment.
* Truth: Truth is strongly-related to honesty. Even though we may make up excuses for not telling the truth, we are fooling ourselves. A person who consistently tells the truth need never worry that he/she said, to “keep the story straight”. There are times when it would be better if we said nothing, than to tell a lie. Have I ever told a lie? Of course I have, and I would be lying if I said I hadn’t. I prefer to say nothing rather than tell a lie.
* Sanctity of life: As one who believes that we are each God’s special creation, and individually an autographed-masterpiece, I believe that human life is to be protected from the moment of conception to natural death. A human fetus is NOT just a blob of tissue. From conception, it bears the blue-print for how God intends him or her to be. Why do I use the terms “him” and “her”? Under normal circumstances, all babies are conceived either male or female. We are not conceived “gender-neutral”, and become male or female later in gestation. Our genetic makeup is either male or female, and is not indeterminate. We do not “become” a boy or a girl at birth, because someone says “It’s a boy” or “It’s a girl”. That newborn baby has been male or female since the moment of conception. Because it is a human being, nobody has any right to “terminate the pregnancy”, just because it wasn’t planned, or came at an inopportune time. There is the excuse of “aborting the fetus to save the mother”, but it is just an excuse. Dr. C. Everett Koop, the US Surgeon-General from 1982-1989, said “In my 36 years in pediatric surgery, I’ve never known of ONE INSTANCE where the child had to aborted to save the mother’s life“. Those are pretty strong words, coming from an experienced doctor, who as the Surgeon-General, swung a very big stick in the medical community. We are created in God’s image (Genesis 2:26-27), so to “abort” a baby is to kill a person made in His image. It is a CHILD, not a “choice”.
* Gender: Our “gender” is our genital sex…the sexual equipment we are born with, male or female. There are recognized variations to this two-sex norm. Some, as a result of a genetic anomaly, are born with both male and female genitals. Those are either true or pseudo hermaphrodites. On rare occasion, someone is born with no visible genitals. Only genetic testing can determine their true gender. There is a man in England who was born without visible genitals, but is genetically-male. There are also those who call themselves “trans-gender”, who believe that their brain “wiring” and their physical gender do not match. Even though most Christians deny that possibility, I understand that, as a result of the “fall”, there are things about our bodies that are much less than perfect. After reading and listening to their stories, I have become convinced that they may be correct in their assertions.
* Sexuality: Sexuality is a thorny topic, because it deals with how our physical gender plays out in our lives, and in many ways, determines the course of our lives. “Sexuality” is one of those “unmentionables” in most church circles, largely because it is highly-misunderstood and has been badly-corrupted. Our sexuality is a God-given part of us since He is our Creator. Rather than bury or deny our sexuality, we need to embrace it and use it as God intended us to do.
* Euthanasia and assisted suicide: Euthanasia is defined as “terminating someones life” (killing them) when they are no longer a “useful member if society”. “Useful member of society” is so broad, that it could encompass a significant fraction of our society. By that definition, I might be considered a candidate for “early-termination”, since I am disabled/retired, and no longer able to work. A huge issue, even for supporters of euthanasia, is WHO is going to be entrusted with the authority to make euthanasia decisions, and what are the guidelines going to be? The same God who created us in His image also said “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13), and was placing His value on human life. Assisted-suicide is giving a person, who perhaps has a terminal condition, or a condition that limits their “quality of life” below what they consider acceptable, a means of taking their own life by medical means. From my perspective, suicide is suicide, regardless of how one takes their own life. I have very strong feelings on any kind of suicide, because my first wife took her own life (committed suicide) in October 1997. I know first-hand the devastation that suicide wreaks on the person’s loved-ones. Why she did it is known only to God, but her suicide totally-destroyed our family. Suicide is the MOST SELF-CENTERED thing a person can ever do, because even though it ends their problems, it can cause immense problems for their family.
Conclusion: Our values are the many-pronged guide we use to make decisions every day of our lives. Making good, God-honoring decisions requires that we have good values which are consistent with the teachings in God’s Holy Word, the Bible.