Engaging in the political discussion and taking advantage of our privileged to vote is important for Christians. We need to add our voice to the discussion and since as Christians we know God who is the ultimate answer to the problems we face as people and as a nation we should be involved in public life.
But it is no secret that this year’s political climate has gotten a bit…well…to put it bluntly, nasty. While this isn’t a new thing, it is a new thing for me as a father. For the first time my son is listening to the news and I find myself needing to talk to him about what he is hearing and seeing.
I have to admit I would rather have “the talk” than try to explain what is happening in the presidential race this year. You see, I have a goal with him that goes beyond simply trying to get him on my side about who to vote for. I want to help him to grow up to be a person who can be a voice of reason and change so maybe the political discourse that his children see will be different.
Here are my goals:
- Teach my children that God has ordained governments.
- Since they are God ordained instruments governments and public officials should be respected.
- While respecting the laws and governments in place we must remember that we always have a higher law to follow and that is the laws of God.
- We must remember that this world is not our home and that while we will work to make our country great, ultimately our goal is to bring God glory.
- We must remember that our mission is to take the love of Christ to the world. Our mission is to make disciples and to reach out with the love of Christ. We must be sure that what we say and do in defense of our political ideals will not interfere with our ultimate mission.
- We disagree with ideas and actions, not with people.
- We will listen to what others have to say even if we are opposed to their opinions.
- Governments require compromise. When people get more concerned about winning than they do helping others they create a culture of fighting and stagnation. In order to move forward we must be willing to listen, compromise, and adapt.
On a personal note I also want to teach my children than if you are going to argue against someone make sure that you are at least arguing against facts and not false half arguments. For instance I get frustrated when I hear Christians arguing that they didn’t evolve from monkeys. No one is arguing that you evolved from a monkey. People say that you and that monkey have a common ancestor. That is different. When you make an assumption and then argue against the assumption your argument loses weight. Be truthful if you want to create a bigger impact.
If you would like some ideas on how to talk to your kids about politics. Here is a really good aritical.