A shift is being felt in America. A shift away from biblical values. A shift away from what was once understood. (It really started years ago.)
Christians in the United States have stood idly by thinking that this would never happen. Many thought that the U.S. would always be a “Christian nation.”
The problem has been that many of us in thinking that things would never change stopped teaching our children the biblical values which underscore the Christian life. We began to allow others to teach their values to our children – and to us. We adopted many of these values which are not found in Scripture and they have landed us where we are today.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children,
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house,
and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down,
and when you rise.”
– Deuteronomy 6:4-7
What does God value? How do we know what God values?
God’s values are described in the Bible. It’s been said that when something is repeated it must be important. To find out what God values we simply need to look for repeated themes in Scripture. We need to read about what God has said and what He has done that has been repeated in the Bible.
1. God values His creation. Throughout Genesis chapter one we read about each stage of creation, God spoke each part of creation into existence and “God saw that it was good.” God then tells man to “rule over” or take dominion over creation.
2. God values marriage between one man and one woman. Genesis 2 describes God creating woman and bringing her to man. In Malachi 2 we read of how God hates divorce. Matthew 19 confirms the Old Testament teaching on marriage when Jesus said that divorce was not part of God’s plan in the beginning, but divorce is allowed because of the hardness of one’s heart. Most importantly, God values marriage between one man and one woman because marriage is symbolic of the relationship Christ has with the Church. (Ephesians 5:22-33)
3. God values obedience. We read many times in the Bible of God’s desire for us to keep His commandments. We see how those who were obedient were blessed while those who did not obey were cursed. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 says,
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you,
but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him,
to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord,
which I am commanding you today for your good?”
4. God values our devotion to Him. Exodus 20:3-4 tells us that we are to have no other gods before Him and that we are not to have any idols (carved images or any likeness of anything he created). He demanded that we worship Him alone.
5. God values His name. His name is above any other name (Phil. 2:9). We are to cherish it and to esteem it highly.
6. God values work. God gave Adam work to do in the garden to have dominion over the rest of creation, and he named every living creature. Once Adam and Eve sinned, part of the consequences for them (and us) was that our work would become difficult.
7. God values rest. God doesn’t value rest because he wants us to be lazy. He values it because it allows us to take time to recognize and remember who He is and what He has done. Rest is part of our worship. (Exodus 20:8-11)
8. God values family relationships. Exodus 20:12 says we are to honor our parents. Ephesians 6:1-3 talks about children obeying their parents and fathers not exasperating their children. We also see many passages which refer to the influence of one generation on several generations after them.
9. God values life. Life begins at conception. God knits us together in our mothers’ wombs. (Psalm 139:13) He has commanded us to not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
When we take these values and either discard them or alter them to suit our desires we are teaching our children that what God says is not important. In effect, we are saying that we know better than God. That His ways are not better than ours.
We must renew our passion to live our lives according to biblical values. We must reclaim our roles as parents to teach God’s values to our children even as this nation continues its shift away from being a “Christian” nation.
P.S. This is not an exhaustive list of all the many things that God values. If I took time to list them all, you might not be able to live according to these values. 😉
What values would you add to this list?
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photo: Meredith B via freeimages.com