This past weekend we went as a family to Bible Conference on the Family in Indiana. It was a real blessing. Now the hard part comes, in applying what we heard. The teacher was Warren Henderson of Wisconsin. He has written a number of books on the family, including 'The Fruitful Vine' and 'Like Olive Branches'. His big emphasis on child rearing was on raising spiritual children and not just moral ones. A very important distinction.
One side track he went down was on applying scripture to the decisions we make when it is not black and white. It is obvious that robbing a bank is not right, but what about the less obvious things? He gave eight principles to use in those types of decisions. I present them for your own consideration.
1. 1Corinthians 6:12 Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything.
-Will this be beneficial to me?
-Will this master me?
2. 1Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
-Will this stumble a weaker brother or sister?
3. 1 Corinthians 9:12 ...On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
-Will it stumble or hinder someone in the gospel?
4. 1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
- Can I do it to the glory of God?
5. 1 Corinthians 10:23 ...Everything is permissible but not everything is constructive.
-Is it helpful to my spiritual growth?
6 & 7. Romans 14:19 Let us make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
-Does it make for peace?
-Does it edify someone else?
8. Romans 14:23-24
-Don't do something unless you have full peace that it is right!
Phil 4:8 Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is virtuous or praiseworthy, think on these things.
Now if we can live our life in such a way that we illustrate these ideas in our life, and then teach our children to apply them in their own lives, they will struggle a lot less with those 'hard' decisions.