Integrity Begins at Home

by | May 7, 2012 | SpiritLed Living

Have you ever been treated unethically in a business
transaction? Have you ever been grieved by the lack of integrity in a pastor,
evangelist or other minister? Sadly, we live in an age in which leaders in both
the secular and the spiritual arenas seem to be making up their own sets of
rules about how to conduct their businesses, their ministries and their lives.

We may not be able to do much about the current leadership
in these arenas other than pray. But if you’re a parent, you can have a
positive impact on the next generation. How? By instituting ethics training in
your home. This is where it begins. Parents have the God-given responsibility
to guide and instruct their children – the future business and spiritual
leaders of our nation.

Where do we go to find appropriate foundational truths that
lay the groundwork for ethics and morals? How can we purposefully and
systematically train our children and ourselves to do the right thing, even
when it hurts? Joyce Meyer, Christian speaker and author, states in one of her
teachings on integrity, “True integrity is doing the right thing even when no
one else is looking.” Isn’t that what we want in our children and ourselves?

For those who hold to the Judeo-Christian faith, such
principles are found throughout the Bible, particularly in the psalms and
proverbs. The implementation of these teachings along with other training tools
will lay the groundwork for integrity in the home and the lives of your
children. “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are
older, they will remain upon it” (Prov. 22:6, NLT). This is a wonderful promise
given to parents, but it carries with it the responsibility to take the time to
teach and train the children entrusted to our care.

We must win the battle for the hearts of our children
because the heart is the soil in which the seeds of truth, honesty and honor –
or the seeds of greed, fraud and deception – are planted. Seeds in the heart
can be likened to the seeds planted by a farmer in the ground. He plants …
cultivates … waters … protects – and finally reaps a superb harvest.

Parents are planters who have a wonderful opportunity to sow
into their children a sense of identity and destiny based on a genuine code of
ethics. Their planting places a hedge of knowledge and protection that will,
over time, reap a harvest of integrity and virtue. It is this hedge that will
protect the leader, later in life, at those very critical moments when, faced
with tough choices, he must ask, “What is the right thing to do?”

We live in a visually stimulated culture that inundates our
children with information to discourage honesty and virtue. If a child does not
have a foundation of values and beliefs, it will be difficult for him to
discern right from wrong. In his book “Kingdom Education,” Dr. Glen Schultz, a
Christian educator, says, “At the foundation of a person’s life we find his
beliefs. These beliefs shape his values, and his values drive his actions.”
Obviously, parents are concerned about what their kids might be tempted to do,
but of greater concern should be what their children believe because that will
determine their behavior, attitudes and eventually the choices they make in
life.

Proverbs 20:11 says, “Even children are known by the way
they act, whether their conduct is pure and right.” Teaching a moral and
ethical code of conduct is a process that begins at birth and continues
throughout the life of your children.

Webster defines “integrity” as “virtue tested and approved;
uprightness of character; honesty; complete and undivided.” One way we teach it
to our children is by example. They need to see honor and integrity exemplified
in a practical way in the home. We should find ways to be transparent and let
our families know when it is a struggle to make the right choices to be honest
and truthful.

As parents, we must first have the spiritual insight
ourselves before we will be able to guide our children into this type of
wisdom. We are encouraged in Psalm 139 to ask of the Lord: “Search me, O God,
and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that
offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (vv. 23-24). The
Scriptures give clear guidelines and instruction to both parents and children
for success in outlining and following the path of integrity.

Other than teaching by example, there are many ways to
implement good training in the home – the bedrock that will shape your child’s
behavior in the ensuing years. Every couple should have their own unique plan
based on scriptural values and insights and consistently put this plan into
practice. Remember: The future corporate and spiritual state of our nation lies
in your hands!

Adapted from Rise of the New Ethics Class by Stephen G.
Austin with Mary Steelman, published by Charisma House. Corporate America needs
a reformation in which faith-based principles and biblical guidelines replace
the shaky ethics of much of today’s economy. To find out how to implement such
principles in your board room – and even in your home – click here to purchase
a copy of this book:

 

 

PRAYER POWER WEEK OF 5/7/2012

This week surrender yourself and your children to the Lord
and thank Him that He is ever present in every season of your life. Ask Him for
the wisdom that is readily available and He alone can give. Thank Him for the
expected outcome, plans and purposes He has for you and your family. Pray for those who have sons, daughters and loved ones in
the military.  Ask the Lord to
strengthen their faith and bring them comfort during this season of separation.
Pray for protection over their sons and daughters as well as our own nation and
its leaders.  Prov. 22:6; James 1:6

To enrich your prayer
life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate
scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt:
Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break
Curses. To order any or all of these click here.

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