By Gilbert Mbewe
The past few weeks I have been discussing the topic “Raising Children Through Good Values”. So far, I have discussed values such as; prudence, honesty, working hard and respect.
Before I conclude on this topic, there are two more values I need to address and these are the values of Love and courage. The value of love will be discussed in this article and courage in my next article. It is important that I remind you what has been covered so far.
A value has been delineated as a characteristic of merit to which we can live by. We have also seen the magnitude of living by values, for they point our behavior in all aspect of our life, including our home life, our work life and our social life and a person guiding his/her life by a characteristic of merit is one to emulate, respect and honour.
Like I said, in this article I want to look at love as a value. Love is the foundation of life. I say this simply, we make love to create life. Hence love should be the greatest of all values of life. The bible says “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love–but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Love is more important in one’s life, more than money. You can work to provide for yourself and your family. But without love there is little to inspire you to work harder. A friend of mine once told me, “Without love, money loses value”.
He was right. The apostle Paul commenting on the importance of love says, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2). If you wish to live a truly happy and fulfilling life, it is more important to have love than a lot of power, firm and money. Having love is very important, yet most people don’t recognize it.
Ironically we live in an era which encourages self-exploration, self-gratification, and doing what it takes to get what you want. A society that teaches us to always find something that pleases us and if something is unpleasant, to get rid of it! If someone doesn’t give you what you want, manipulate them to get it! We live in society that I can simply describe as, selfish.
It’s all about me. It is no longer about my neighbor. We have forgotten the second most important commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
It’s important that families and society at large embraces love as a characteristic of life. Certain social analysts have held that the more a society values love the more it prospers. Conversely the less a culture values love the more it is in danger of decline. It has been reasoned that love is the best catalyst and motivator of people bringing forth the best joint efforts for survival and advancement.
Thus the family and society that loves best survives and advances. Love places values on other people as they are related to God and not as they are useful and important to oneself.
Love always looks out for the best in the other. Love enables other people flourish. Love is not selfish, i.e. putting self-interest first; but it allows other people’s interests to occupy first position. Love treats others not as objects for personal gain but understands them as being equal and made in God’s image.
When we embrace love as a value, vices such as stealing, killing and corruption won’t be part of our society. A person with love, for example, wouldn’t leave room to corruption as this vice is selfish and leads to most people getting denied receiving basic social services they are entitled to.
A person with love would be expected do their work without asking for a bribe because that is why they were employed to offer service. After all they are entitled to a salary at the end of the month. Only a person without love would take a bribe to meet selfish needs.
I’ve been talking about corruption simply because this is a vice that has affected many lives today and when we get lid of it our society will be better. My assumption is that corruption can be conquered through embracing good family values.
Embracing love as a family value is important just because love does not take advantage of other people’s vulnerability for selfish gain. Love is the key to mitigating most problems affecting the wellbeing of humanity today.
Let’s embrace love as a family value. My fellow parents let’s instill love in our children so that it become part of them. Zambia will be a much better place if we can embrace love as a family value.