Q&A: Teaching moral values to our children

Q: I’ve heard you advocate for teaching moral values in our homes and to our children. Your view, however, seems archaic and misguided. People are “immoral” for only one reason: they’re ignorant. Your approach seems not only ineffective, but a distraction from the greater need for formal education. Doesn’t this reasoning make more sense?

A: Teddy Roosevelt is credited with saying, “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.” His point? Education alone is inadequate to build character.

We’ve noticed a peculiar pattern in our culture. Whenever a new statistic is released that reveals some negative trend in society, it seems the call immediately goes out for more education. Whether it be the growing tide of drug abuse, teen pregnancy — or any other social challenge — conventional wisdom suggests these problems could be resolved if people simply knew better.

Now, let us be clear. We believe that education is critical and invaluable to any culture, and there is no questioning that ours is better for it. But as the 32nd president of the United States, President Roosevelt, so aptly explained, intelligence and morals are not the same thing.  Intelligence deals with information; morals provide a foundation of wisdom for how that information ought to be used. A society needs both in order to be healthy.

Although some may be inclined to dismiss the importance of moral values, We’re firmly convinced that we would do well to heed the words of Dr. Wilbur Crafts who observed, “It is not worthwhile to educate a man’s wits unless you educate his conscience also.”

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email




Warning Signs Of An Affair

Can you recognise the symptoms of a troubled marriage? Most extramarital affairs do not start out with the candid revelations, but there are certainly overt factors that can lead to marital unfaithfulness.

Read More >


Back-To-School Challenges

The weeks leading up to the start of school can be unnerving for both children and their parents. Discover 3 ways to confidently help your children make it through “new school year anxiety”.

Read More >

Behaviour and Consequences

Correcting bad behaviour needs to start in the early years. Train your children up for the real world by disciplining them with the effective use of positive and negative consequences.

Read More >