by Nicholeen Peck
Lately I have been thinking about government, laws, and the morality of the people in my country. It occured to me that these three things (government, law and morality)are all connected. Alsothe success of a governing body depends on the relationship of these three things. Likewise, when there is contention in the government it is often because there is a disagreement about what is moral and what isn't. Some people want traditional moral laws, and other people want to make new, more convenient and socially accepted laws.
Family governments are not much different than local or federal governments. In fact, if done properly, the social governments should model themselves after effective family governments.
Thinking about these three things has made me realize that morals are essential to a governing body. I know that now days it is popular to say that government shouldn't get involved in moral issues. But, that is impossible. In fact, if you look back in history you will see that the reason governments are made and the reason laws are made is to uphold what is called “natural law.” Natural law is mentioned in our founding documents and refers to a natural code of morality that historically all people have subscribed to.
If governments didn't get involved in moral issues then governments wouldn't have freed slaves or given women the vote. Governments wouldn't help the homeless or financially destitute, and they wouldn't make rules about divorce or child protection among many other moral related laws.
In our founding documents it says that governments are instituted in order to provide protection for the people. Protecting life is a moral issue in and of itself.
How Does This Apply To Our Families?
A family is a government. It has laws, and those laws are intended to protect the family against evil and wrong choices. If a family has no laws, it has no protection. So, good governments, even family governments, must have clear morals. There must be a standard.
In the book, Parenting A House United, I talk about the importance of making a family standard and how to go about doing this. The family standard is a legal document that details the moral laws of the home. It gives no answers to certain kinds of conduct and instructions for other kinds of conduct. It gives laws for grooming and dress as well as for language and substances. Most of these moral family laws are based on religion or family belief in God.
So, if a family doesn't have a belief system, or religion, and wants to make laws it will be very difficult. Without right and wrong, good and bad, and true and false a law would be immoral. In fact, at that point the law and government would not be able to be trusted. When there are no morals there is either anarchy or tyranny.
Your Family Standard: Your Family Protection
There are many things that are attacking the morals in our families these days. In fact, along with distraction, the attack on family values and morals is the biggest problem our society is facing right now. Society is becoming more and more vulnerable to these attacks because the families are not fortifying themselves against the attacks.
If families have solid beliefs/morals and create family cultures where those morals and beliefs are nurtured, then the family cannot be manipulated by the latest social trends. The family standard is a document that helps morally direct the family's decisions. This document is drafted by mom and dad with the help of God's natural laws so that it consists of actual morals and principles that will protect and free the family.
This last year I saw the power of having a family standard when I went swimsuit shopping with my daughter. After looking over the selection at a local department store, my daughter said, “Mom, I can't wear any of these. None of them are respectful. They are either too skimpy or have symbols on them that we don't agree with. I guess we will need to keep looking at other places or just wear my old suit again this year.”
My daughter was willing to accept a no answer from the family standard all on her own. Because we have had a standard her whole life, she knows the standards keeps her safe. She wants that safety.
One Mother's Wish
After I wrote my parenting book a friend said to me, “Nicholeen, after I read your book, I felt like if there was one thing that would have made the biggest difference in my family, it is the family standard. If my children would have had a standard like that, we wouldn't have had so many disagreements and moral issues. I wish I would have had that when I was raising my children.”
Make your family standard today. Review that section of the book and help your family be more protected in these hard times. Your family government needs laws based on morals just like all good governments do.
Note: Remember that in order to adopt a family standard when one hasn't previously existed, it is essential to know how to follow instructions and accept no answers.