A “stop” sign is placed on highways at intersections to keep us safe. Much harm has come when individuals ignore stop signs; including loss of life and limb. Guardrails are placed on the sides of roads to keep us from going into dangerous territory. We would wholeheartedly agree that we do not want our children to ignore stop signs or go beyond guard rails.
God’s instructions on morality do the same things for us and for our children. Morality speaks to the “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.” God’s Word is given so that we might strive for the best possible outcome to the life we have been given. Recognizing that our Creator has set before us right and wrong is essential to our children being equipped to make decisions. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT): Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.
Choosing to live a moral life in obedience to God won’t make our children popular among their peers, but it will give them the favor of God and His protection, and the respect of others. Exodus 20:13-17 (NLT): You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
These are all “stop” signs given by God to help us avoid danger. There has never been one who said I am so sorry I made decisions that honored and pleased God; however, there are many who regret not doing it. No adult has ever looked back on parents who lived before them by the highest moral standards that did not deeply respect that standard. There are many who “wish” our parents had given us more instruction on how God says we should live.
Raising children with the knowledge and expectation of the highest moral standard is for their ultimate good. Even if they push back, they still deep in their soul appreciate your honesty and know it comes from a place of love. A high moral standard may not make them the most popular, or it may not make them the most friends, but it will give them the best life. The Wisdom of Solomon in the book of Proverbs speaks to the results of knowing God’s Word and storing it in our hearts.
My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.Proverbs 3:1-4 (NLT)
Loyalty, kindness and morality are all marks of distinction of which our children will benefit greatly.