Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On Values and Principles

Every adult has values and principles which have developed in us through what we have been taught and what we have experienced. Values are those things which we hold in high esteem and are important to us. Principles, as defined by the dictionary, are "a rule or code of conduct"; "a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine or assumption."  Although our fundamental values and principles are formed in childhood, they continue to grow and change as long as we live.
  We usually don't sit down and think about what our values and principles are, but it's a good idea to do that from time to time. Recently I came across a listing of the foundational principles of an organization I have been following since the 70's, Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, CO. Upon reading them, I found that they were an accurate description of the principles I have come to accept as valuable, and so I thought I would share them here. I have found that following these principles leads not only to peace, which is the defining theme of my blog, but to fulfillment in life.

The Value of Children
Children are a heritage from God and a blessing from His hand. Parents are therefore accountable to Him for raising, shaping and preparing children for a life of service to His kingdom and to humanity.

The Permanence of Marriage
The institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to model the love of Christ for His people and to serve both the public and private good as the basic building block of human civilization. Marriage is intended by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman through trials, sickness, financial crises and emotional stresses. Therefore, Christians are called to defend and protect God's marriage design and to minister in Christ's name to those who suffer the consequences of broken marriages.

The Pre-Eminence of Evangelism
The ultimate purpose of life is to know and glorify God and to attain eternal life through Jesus Christ, beginning within our own families and then reaching out to a suffering humanity that needs to embrace His love and sacrifice.

The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that human life is created by God in His image. It is of inestimable worth and significance in all its dimensions, including the preborn, the aged, the mentally disabled, those deemed unattractive, the physically challenged, and every other condition in which humanness is expressed from the single-cell stage of development to natural death. Christians are therefore called to defend, protect and value all human life.

The Importance of Social Responsibility
God has ordained the social institutions of family, church and government for the benefit of mankind and as a reflection of His divine nature. Therefore, Christians are called to support these institutions, according to God's design and purpose, and to protect them against destructive social influences. Such involvement is in obedience to Christ's lordship over all creation and is required by His command to care for the well-being of all people.

The Value of Male and Female
God created humans in His image, intentionally and immutably male and female, each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships. Sexuality is a glorious gift from God to be offered back to Him either in marriage for procreation, union and mutual delight, or in celibacy for undivided devotion to Christ. Christians are called to proclaim the truth and beauty of God's design and the redemption of sexual brokenness in our lives and culture through Jesus Christ.

One thing that I would add is the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, being baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is actually the first and foremost principle because the others flow from it. It's the power of the Holy Spirit within us which enables us to live according to the other principles.

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