Let us first of all teach ourselves to walk in the commandment of the Lord. Then we must teach our wives in the faith delivered to them, and in love and purity, to cherish their husbands in all fidelity, to love all others equally in all chastity, and to educate their children in the fear of God...praying unceasingly on behalf of all, refraining from all slander, gossip, false witness, love of money, in fact, from evil of any kind. They should know that they are God's alter, that everything is examined for blemishes, and nothing escapes him whether of thoughts or sentiments, or any of "the secrets of the heart". Knowing that "God is not mocked", we ought to live worthily of his commandment and glory.
Similarly also the younger ones must be blameless in all things, especially taking thought of purity and bridling themselves from all evil...therefore it is necessary to refrain from all these things. The young women must live with a blameless and pure conscience. Be compassionate, merciful to all, turning back those who have gone astray, looking after the sick, and not neglecting the widow, orphan, or one that is poor. So then, let us "serve him with fear and all reverence" as he himself had commanded.
-Polycarp, Letter to the Phillippians
So, I know this guy lived circa 156, but I think he had some good things to say. And seeing as he was burned at the stake for his faith (after telling the emperor "You try and frighten me with the fire that burns for an hour, and you forget the fire of hell that never goes out")...I think he knew that it was a challenge sometimes to live this Christian life. But, he persevered. He finished the race and kept his faith. So, I have to think that taking his advice to heart would be a good thing. Are we living lives worthy of the gospel? (I feel like I've heard a Francis Chan sermon on that one.)
Back to Church History homework now. Don't you know that reading about 2nd and 3rd Century Church Services are fun? Ten down...seven more essays to write summaries on. :)