In the last 25 years or so, there has been a big shift in the minds of our society that has had a huge impact on the way we live. The change has been slow, but steady, like so many evils that have crept in to be the norm over the years. It has invaded our culture and if we are not careful will present us with a world with no foundation. What we have lost is our sense of value.
Values are the core foundation of our being. Values consist of our beliefs, integrity, and character. Men that are older than 40 remember a time when a man’s core values were built on absolute truth. He doesn’t meander and he has a firm grasp of his life, his family, and his responsibility as a father. He is a leader of his family and does so in a respected manner. He is trusted for his word and his guidance. His handshake alone is his signed contract.
Younger men have grown up in a society that has decided that their beliefs, integrity, and character should be something that they control. They have decided that these things shouldn’t have merit unless they decide that they have value. The idea that any tried and true, Godly values should be present in their life is spat at with shouts of intolerance. This new “Me” Generation has decided that the pursuit of pleasure and selfish motives is the new “norm”. “It is all about me” is the rallying cry. Their beliefs, integrity, and character are all victims of the crime. As long as they are able to get their way in the end, the means are justified.
We would like to think that this attitude is solely outside of the church. We would be very wrong. Divorce is rampant in our land and is almost equally high among Christians and non-Christians. We blame the divorce rate on a lack of communication, financial struggles, affairs, and the famous “irreconcilable differences”, but the real source of almost all of these causes is a selfish generation. The idea is that if you do not find pleasure from it, you need to move on. Statistics on divorce show that people who have divorced will often have unsuccessful second and even third marriages. It would make one think that maybe a marriage is not really about receiving pleasure all along. Maybe we need to stop blaming everyone but ourselves and reevaluate ourselves and our own values.
Enough doom and gloom, what can we do as men to not fall into the same trap? We need to be men who have a clear set of core values to aid us in each step we take. Having a set of values based on absolute truth will give us a firm foundation in every aspect of our lives.
Let’s look at some ways that our values can help us each day.
They Simplify Life
Knowing what your core values are will make decision making much simpler. When your core values have a strong sense of what is right and wrong, making the decision comes down to comparing the question with your values. You have an internal compass that guides you. You can be a better leader at your work, to your wife, and with your family.
They Give Us Purpose
If we do not have a defined value system, we end up drifting along in life. We tend to make choices based on circumstances and social pressures instead of based on truth. You are much more likely to try to please someone with a decision rather than standing for anything on your own. You end up making decisions looking for acceptance and pleasure and feel as if you are wandering through life. If you have a strong, Godly value system you can go through life with purpose, direction, happiness, and wholeness. Your marriage can have direction and can be productive.
They Give Us Confidence
When we have a strong sense of our values, we gain a sense of courage and confidence to make choices based on those values. In marriage, if we have proven ourselves worthy of respect from our wives, we can be a Godly husband and father.
They Limit Bad Choices
When we know what we believe and live those values, we will not make choices that conflict with our core values. Do you know somebody that seems to go from bad choice to bad choice? Chances are they have a flawed value system or really no basis for their decision making. They live a life that is filled with frustration and unhappiness.
They Promote Service
If we lack core values we tend to look at everything through selfish eyes. Godly standards such as the Golden Rule teach us to be mindful of others more than our own. In marriage, we can gain more happiness by how much we give to our relationship than we ever can by thinking only of ourselves.
They Create Responsibility
If we cannot be responsible for our actions, our finances, or our lives, how can we expect others to feel comfortable allowing us to make those decisions? A man that has made his decisions using sound principles repeatedly will prove himself to be worthy of respect.
They Encourage Loyalty
A man that has proven he has a strong value system will have people that stick by him. He will be someone that is looked up to by others and his leadership will be sought. In a marriage where a man has created a sound foundation, a wife feels extremely open to him and creates an atmosphere where more intimacy can occur.
They Give Us Consistency
A man living with firm values is consistent day to day. He is not swaying in the wind in any aspects of his life. He knows what his role is in his job, as a husband, and as a father. His decisions are sound and they do not change from day to day. He will be a husband that values his wife day after day. He will be a father that will be consistent in bringing up his children.
They Define Us
Lastly, if a man has no sense of values based on truth, what is he? Can he be defined? Is he really anything? Is he productive? Is he useful? A man that has sought out to define his core values and live them can be defined. When your name is mentioned they will know who you are and what to expect. They will know that your “Yes” means yes and your “No” means no. They will know that you believe in something greater than yourself.
What are your core values? Are you living life out with a belief in God, moral integrity, and a strong character? The Bible gives a great blueprint of the absolute truth. Today might be a good day to evaluate what your value system is and where it is based. Life isn’t that hard if you put faith in the right principles.