Every family has a unique mission. But there are some values that every family needs to recognize as fundamental so that they can live their mission with joy. In this post, we introduce what we call the 10 Commandments of the Family, which we will detail one by one in the posts of the coming weeks.
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The Importance of the 10 Commandments for Defining Values in Your Family
The 10 Commandments have not passed. Each of them is reaffirmed by Jesus and his apostles, paving the way for a successful life. Our families can benefit immensely from the values that each of these commandments conveys. We invite you to seek to understand, and write, what are your family’s values, what are your non-negotiable beliefs and attitudes.
For that, the 10 Commandments of the Family will serve as a “north”, not because they are laws to be obeyed, but because they summarize essential values for our homes.
Below we present the 10 Commandments of the Family through a brief Q&A, and each of these commandments will be explored in a series of posts over the next few weeks:
1st Commandment: Worship God and Serve Only Him
Does God exist? Questioning the existence of God is natural to human insensitivity. Proof of this is that this question is one of the most common of all time. But it has been known since ancient times that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Everything starts and ends with him. The Lord is the creator of all things, including the family.
That is why every successful family recognizes the existence, and more than that, the fear of the Lord about their lives. He is eternal, good, faithful, and holy. Forever and forever, he is. His character and plan of love are revealed to all who seek him sincerely. You and your family need to read the Bible together, asking God to reveal Himself to you. Do not waste time. Affirm with your family “Only the Lord is our God!” and seek together to know him more and more.
“You shall have no other gods before me.”Exodus 20:3
2nd Commandment: Do Not Accept Idols
What is an idol? An idol is anything that seeks to take God’s place in your life. It can be someone else, money, an image of metal, clay, wood, etc. An idol is an abomination to God. Unfortunately, many people, because they do not know the Word of God, get involved with idols, and bring long-term curses on their family. There is an action of demons behind every idol. Therefore, reject every idol and do not allow any lie to steal God’s glory from your home.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”Exodus 20:4-6
3rd Commandment: Do Not Use God’s Name for Your Own Interests
What does it mean to use God’s name in vain? The name of God represents his person. Thus, using the name of God in vain means to justify a personal, selfish interest, as if it were at God’s request. A good example is a minister or a church that speaks in the name of God for their own benefit. This question goes far beyond simply saying the Lord’s name in inappropriate conversations. To use the name of God in vain is to despise his grace, to act evil, and to accumulate punishment for the future of your own family. May the name of the Lord be glorified by your family through a life of genuine love, voluntary service, and sincerity every day.
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”Exodus 20:7
4th Commandment: Remember Shabbat as a Weekly Rest Day
What is the difference between Saturday and Sunday in the Bible? The Sabbath was set aside by God as a weekly rest day for the benefit of all mankind. Sunday was chosen by men to celebrate God for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Your family will do well to value Sunday as a special day of celebration, but you should not forget to set aside a weekly day of rest.
The Sabbath is a day to cease, to rest, not to perform any tasks or even religious activities. It is much more prominent in the Bible and valued by the Word of God than Sunday (68 x 8 in the New Testament). That rest day can be Saturday, between Friday and Sunday, or any other day, as long as it is practiced regularly every 6 days worked. There are great promises and benefits for families who remember the Sabbath as a weekly day off.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”Exodus 20:8-11
5th Commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother
How can I honor my father and mother? To be very practical, we can honor our parents by affirming them with our sincere love and gratitude, serving them with practical tasks, investing time with them regularly, talking, hugging, kissing, giving them gifts, and especially living with integrity.Parents need to train and teach their children about the value of honor from an early age, and children need to constantly remember to honor their parents practically. The benefit will be for the whole family. This is a commandment with a promise of a prosperous life. That means more than living many years, it means living with quality. So honor your father and mother, and make this practice culture in your home.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”Exodus 20:12
6th Commandment: Do Not Choose Death, but Live Guided by Peace
Why is the reality of death never beneficial or pleasant? The human being was simply not created to die, but to live forever. That is why our family needs to oppose any influence of death, darkness, isolation, or communication with the dead, which is increasingly common in our society. Videogames, movies, and even music have explored the theme of death as attractive, and the result is never good for families. So cultivate values of life, peace, and communion in your home, and the result will be more life and peace for your family.
“You shall not murder.”Exodus 20:13
7th Commandment: Don’t Adulterate, but Be Faithful to Your Covenants
What does adultery mean? Adultery means deceit, betrayal, and forgery. This practice is extremely harmful to the family. Nowadays the term adultery is related to sexuality, but the Bible associates it with the heart’s intention to deceive and prevents us against this practice. Cultivate in your family the value of a commitment to your alliances. Much suffering will be avoided and the result will be long-term prosperity to your family.
“You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal.”Exodus 20:14-15
8th Commandment: Do Not Steal, but Prefer to Be a Good and Generous Steward
How can I avoid theft in my family? The best way to eliminate any type of theft by members of our family is to create a culture of stewardship. The Bible clearly teaches us that all things belong to the Lord, and we are his stewards. He who is faithful about little will be placed over much. And as we manage all that God has entrusted to us with grace and generosity, there will be no need for dishonest gains. A good practice is also to avoid touching, not only physically but even in conversations, on subjects or objects that do not belong to us.
“You shall not steal.”Exodus 20:15
9th Commandment: Do Not Lie, but Speak the Truth with Grace
What’s wrong with a lie if it doesn’t harm other people? The saying goes that the lie has a short, very short leg. And the most important thing we teach our family is that Jesus stated that the father of lies is the devil. Everyone who speaks a lie agrees with the devil. The Bible repeatedly says that the false witness will not go unpunished. The consequences on the life of a person who lies go far, destroying their integrity before the family. A lie may not harm another person, but it will always harm the person who spoke it. That’s why your family’s culture must be always truth and grace.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”Exodus 20:16
10th Commandment: Not Greed, but Live Satisfied
And finally, what is the difference between desiring and coveting? The problem with covetousness is that it focuses on something that belongs to someone else, not myself. Thus, covetousness is a type of desire, of bad quality. Covetousness is necessarily contrary to joy, satisfaction and true intimacy. God has so many resources and promises for your life that all eternity will be little to enjoy them. The world and its lust pass away, but he who does God’s will abides forever (1 John 2:17).
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”Exodus 20:17
There is a unique mission for you and your family. And this mission requires values of the highest level to be considered, which must be guided by the commandments of the Word of God. The sooner you understand this mission and the values that God has for your family, the quicker you will be able to align yourself with that purpose and enjoy a path full of joy and success with God’s blessing.
Prayer: God, thank you so much for your faithful love and the commandments of your Word to my family. I ask you please to deliver me from all embarrassment and help me to live successfully everything You have prepared for me and my family, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?
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