The writer of Proverbs said this about a house: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures” (Proverbs 24:3-4).
And what are those rare and beautiful treasures we should have in our homes? I like to think of Christian values as the treasures that decorate our homes.
Of course, conveying Christian values requires a commitment of time and money. You may say, “We don’t have money for expensive vacations!” No, I’m talking about what we do day in and day out. My experience has been that discipline problems crop up when we parents are the busiest, but time spent with our kids solves most of them. Playing sports together, lunch or dinner one-on-one, even shopping together is important. There is no substitute for time with our children.
Also, if we want our kids to accept our values, I believe there is another very necessary ingredient, and that is unconditional love. You see, unconditional love separates between approval and acceptance. Do we always approve of what our kids do? No, of course not. But should they always know they are accepted by us? Absolutely!
So many times our love comes with a price tag. “If you keep your room neat, if you get good grades and don’t get in trouble or embarrass us—then we’ll love you.” But compare this with God’s love. Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Parents, make sure your children know that nothing they can ever do will keep you from loving them. You may be disappointed in them. You may have to discipline them and let them live with the results of their choices. But make sure they know you love them no matter what they do. Let’s make our homes miniatures of the kingdom of God, where love comes with no strings attached.