What is your code of honor? - James Bell

Everyone has a code of honor of some sort. It might be knowing a great person, in your opinion, and feeling you should pattern your life after that person.

Or, it might be a sports hero who you want your life to be like, and you decide that whatever this person does, you want to be just like him or her.

I think the first place a child begins to learn how to relate to others is in the home. Parents and the home environment are the best place to teach a child, from birth to teen years, how they should relate to others, and the difference between being good and being bad.

This was certainly true for me and my siblings. My mother and grandmother were my teachers. They taught me to play with others and how to share. They believed a child should be rewarded for being good, and punished for being bad.

I recall as I grew up, how much I enjoyed being told I did good and getting my reward, which sometimes, was just a smile and a "good boy" from my parents.

Discipline was very important then, and still is, although it is a much-neglected practice today. Is it any wonder we have so many discipline problems in our schools today, when children are not loved and taught how to behave, and how to get along with others?

Many come from broken homes, where there is no father figure to teach discipline, and single parents are so busy making a living, they don't have time for their children. This is a major reason for many of the problems in our homes and schools.

I thank God for Christian homes, where the family enjoys love and respect, and children are taught to follow the Golden Rule from the Bible. Such an environment is where we learn to obey the Ten Commandments and to treat others as we want to be treated.

In the home and in the church is where we begin to develop morals and understand how important it is to live a good life of respect and love for others. We learn to choose our role models carefully, for these will be the people who have a great influence in our lives. They are those whom we will honor and seek to emulate.

I feel that one's future is actually determined by whom one chooses to honor. For instance, if one chooses to follow in the footsteps of someone who really has no ambition, or who feels life is to be lived for pleasure and self-gratification, one will probably not have a high code of honor.

However, if one chooses a person who is trying to live his life to the best of his ability and wants to get a good education and be successful in life, then the young person looking for guidance would have chosen more correctly.

I first began to realize that one needs a high code of honor when I became a Christian, and began to read and study the Bible. I read how great God really is, and felt I wanted to live my life according to His teachings.

In 1st Samuel 2:30, God says: "If you honor me, I will honor you." He wants all those who love Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, to have a full and successful life, and He tells us we should be just like His beloved Son.

Now, this is an ambition for one to have, that will lead to great rewards in life, and a home in Heaven, one day. Christians learn early in their lives to honor the Ten Commandments and to try to live by them.

The fifth Commandment says, "Honor thy father and thy mother -- so you may live long." We establish a strong code of honor as we study the Ten Commandments and follow the truths of God. The Ten Commandments are both the basis, and the heart, of Israel's relationship with the Lord God.

It is almost impossible to exaggerate their effect on subsequent history. They constitute the basis of moral principles throughout the Western world and they summarize what the one true God expects from His people, in terms of faith, worship and conduct. The teachings of Jesus, in the New Testament, build values in our life as we are challenged to live by them.

It is my prayer and hope that your code of honor is based on your relationship with the Lord God, for then you will have the right foundation.