THE WAY IT’S MEANT TO BE
Standard of Living
How do you define your standard of living and family values in your home?
Seriously these are essentially the most important questions. The answers to these questions should be thought about way before the decision to start a family is made. A potential husband and wife should be asking each other these questions while courting and deciding whether or not their answers are compatible and comparable...
Today you find families who are divided because these essential questions were never asked and/or answered:
How do we want to live as a family?
How do we want to worship as a family?
How do we want to rear our children?
How will we govern our household?
What will be our goals in this life?
What goals will we be striving to achieve for the next life or afterlife?
What living, working, learning & social environments will be conducive for achieving our family goals?
In your home the standard of living and family values act as bylaws for your household and everyone agrees to live by and stay true to them. Every family is different and therefore will have different levels of importance placed on different family issues...
Family Values the moral and ethical principles; religiously, culturally and traditionally upheld and transmitted within a family, as honesty, loyalty, industry, and faith.
Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, education, comfort, material goods and necessities available, as well as social and economic statuses.
I've had a few failed attempts at establishing a halaal household infused with attainable standards, values and goals and I truly feel this was the direct result of not seeking to answer the questions above or not being committed to myself and my values when these answers came up short. Having strong well defined family values helps solidify the foundation for a strong and steadfast Islaamic household. When cultivated long enough these bylaws act as preventative measures for misconduct, neglect, confusion and conflict.
Strong and consistent family values are also important for building trust and confidence in each family member.
Here are my top essential family values.
And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, "There is no deity except Me,(Allah) so worship Me, (Alone)."
2. Quran & Sunnah will Govern our household.
O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. 4:59
3. Integrity/Dignity. May be difficult to define but extremely important to me. This makes number 3 on my list because I believe it sums up so much. Without it many actions would be done carelessly or not at all. This quality also requires one to have firm faith and stand up for they believe in.
4. Respect. For my family, to respect each other is to take feelings, thoughts, needs, and preferences in to account when making decisions. It also means acknowledging and valuing everyone’s thoughts, feelings and contributions to the family as a whole.Respect is indeed earned and there is a very fine line between it and fear. The only way to earn and keep someone’s respect is to first show them respect yourself. Respect as an important family value will extend out of the home and into school, work or other social settings.
5. Honesty. This is the foundation of any relationships that are meant to last. Mother-daughter, husband-wife, sister-brother. Without honesty a deeper connection will not form and certainly won’t last. Encourage honesty all the time and have consequences for lying. You can not properly care for, defend and protect your family members if they are dishonest...
6. Forgiveness. Forgiving people who have wronged you is an important choice to make. Holding on to anger or keeping a grudge, is not conducive to a close family with mutual respect.Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, We all occasionally say things we wish we hadn't or do things that are not correct. Get issues out in the open, gain some understanding and move on. Life is too short.
7. Generosity. Through generosity we build empathy since we tend to think more about what people need. Being generous includes giving your money, time, love, attention or even some of your possessions.
8. Critical Thinking. I can not stress this enough. When you think critically, you ultimately make better decisions. Critical thinking allows you to make rational and educated decisions that are not based off of emotions, but instead off of observations and information. I want my children to be free open minded intellectual thinkers.
9. Communication. Communication is as much an art as it is a science. A failure to communicate will likely lead to unhappiness and misunderstandings. Small issues grow into larger ones and when they eventually boil to the surface it’s unlikely they will be resolved calmly. Communication is a lot more than simply speaking your mind. In addition to spoken words, communication also extends to tone, volume, expression, eye contact, body language and effective listening.
I would argue that this is the most important value for families to have. When people feel they can talk openly about anything – hopes, dreams, fears, successes or failures – all without judgment, it’s encouraging and strengthens the bond.
10. Responsibility. Responsibility is something that is learned. As a child you may have been shown how to put your toys away after playing, and clean your room or how and when to feed the pet. This sense of responsibility extends well into adulthood. An adult who has a good sense of responsibility doesn't require a lot of prompts to show up to work on time, return phone calls or meet deadlines. Setting out individual responsibilities for family members works to instill this quality in everyone.
11. Good Work Ethics. People who possess a strong work ethic embody certain principles that guide their work behavior, leading them to produce high-quality work consistently. Good work ethics ultimately help to secure means beneficial means for the family. This value appropriately follows responsibility, because having responsibility will teach good work ethics. It is paramount for fathers to teach their sons goo work ethics. They will have to provide for their families in the future.
I almost always want to list Good Character, however, I feel if you are practicing all the values/beliefs above then good character would naturally exist.