FAMILY AND MORAL VALUES

What shows that the child, who became young, has received a good education in his family and has high moral values?

The signs of being a follower of spiritual and moral values for children and adults are not different; they are the same for everyone. Christ says: “Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit”, “For every tree is known by his own fruit”(Matthew 7:17, Luke 6:43).

For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil” (Luke 6:44-45).

Thus, deeds show what values people have. But only deeds cannot witness to faith because atheists also can accomplish commendable deeds. The purity of heart and mind give the value to the works, which are determined by inner intention and attitude, and these last are invisible behind the visible deeds. Therefore, human religious piety also must be expressed, which implies not only internal faith and external deeds, but also a zeal for the spread of religious values and steps aimed at strengthening the spiritual and moral life.

Today, many are passive believers who otherwise known as lukewarm believers. Christ strongly condemns this situation, saying: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15-16). It seems that the lukewarmness became typical for many today’s believers. For eliminating it, besides having faith and accomplishing deeds adequate to faith, it is also necessary to demonstrate a zeal of the spread of religious values, to reform the environment with these values and to strengthen the overall spiritual image.

Where does a child get ideas about moral values? Whose role is primary – of family, school, neighborhood or maybe self-education?

First and foremost a child grows up in the family, for the first time he sees here the behavior of parents, feels their system of values. First of all, a child must be educated in the family because the family is a church, too, and the mother of the family is the priest of that church.

Often in the school, the knowledge is given, that have nothing to do with the spiritual and emotional sphere, with building a spiritual image, but this knowledge relates only to thoughts, brings recognition, such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, grammar, etc. But here the teacher’s image is important because the teacher, especially for children, is the source of pattern, of being ideal image, and with his example the teacher can nurture children, strengthen their spiritual and moral values, build godly character.

The environment can also have a good or bad impact, according to the character of that environment. But the solid foundation, laid in the child, in the future remains steadfast in the environment. We have such examples from the Bible. Lot and his family lived in the city of Sodom, which was lost in the promiscuity, immorality and in many sins, because of which it was destroyed. But living in that city Lot kept the characteristic of his family (Gen. 13:12-13, 18:20, 19:13, 7, 16). Christ exclaimed woe to the sinful cities, among which was Bethsaida (Matt. 11:21, Luke 10:13). But Christ’s five apostles – Peter, Andrew, and Philip (John 1:44, 12:20), as well as James and John were just from that city. But we can see also the opposite case. Judas Iscariot, in an important part of his life, was with Christ and the apostles but that fact didn’t transform him because he was a thief (John 12.46) and eventually became also a turncoat and a traitor.

In strengthening of child’s, as well as adults’ faith and moral values the reading of Scripture has a great role, which brings spiritual benefit to people and transform and make them better because such is the power of God’s word. Christ also says: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4).