Dr TMH and I have always felt that it was very important to teach our children good Christian family values. Our family values are nothing unusual. Of course we all want our children to learn how to be kind and loving, generous and postitive.
Our values are based on the 10 Commandments. These are found in the Bible in Exodus 20:1–17:
The Ten Commandments
20 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth,the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
How do you teach 2 and 4 year olds these things? I started to think about this and spoke to friends about it too. Some very good friends of ours had simplified the Ten Commandments so that their children could understand it and relate to it. Great idea!
I looked at the Ten Commandments myself and came up with a very simple wording. I also included a short prayer. Of course my kids couldn’t read at the time, so I found some relevant little pictures on the internet and inserted them in my document (one picture per commandment). This would help us all to remember them.
These are our family values:
- We honour, love and trust God more than anything else.
- We use God’s name when we pray, praise and thank him.
- We worship God and hear his word, especially on Sunday.
- We love, help and obey our Mum and Dad.
- We love and help everyone.
- We speak and act in ways that are pure.
- We respect everyone and their things.
- We always tell the truth.
- We are thankful for what we have.
- Our family and friends are very special to us.
Dear God, Please help us to live like this. Amen.
I printed the document out A3 size and got my girls to colour the pictures in. Then I laminated the page and blu-takked it to the wall in our kitchen. Each morning while they ate breakfast we read through our family values and prayed that God would help us to live this way. It was a good start to our days!
You are welcome to teach this to your family or maybe come up with your own version! (BTW our favourite one is No 4!!)