Talking to our kids about the Presidential Election

I’ve not spoken about my political views online. I will not speak about my political views online today. I personally prefer to have those conversations with close friends who know my heart and will take the time to fully understand my position on the issues. People who disagree with me, I disagree with them, we have a legitimate conversation, and hug each other as we agree to disagree. I’ll preface the rest of this post by saying that my filter is not up this morning. Two hours of sleep isn’t enough recharge for my filter. So, maybe I’ll regret some of these things tomorrow. But, probably not.

But, I’ve seen some posts this morning that tug at my heart strings, and I can’t remain silent. Let me start by saying once again. Regardless of who is President of the United States, Christ is King. My safety, security, sanity, hope and joy are in no way wrapped up in who wins or loses the presidential election.

And, the posts about, “But, what do we tell the children?” At the risk of losing friends, let me just say if you think you need to say something different to your children based on who wins the election, you may be part of the problem. If you want the hate and shaming to stop, stop it in your own home. This great nation has had a lot of terrible presidents, and we’ve somewhat survived. He or she alone do not have the power to destroy this nation, or the hearts and minds of our children. So, here’s what I am telling my children.

First, Jesus Christ is King. I believe what the Bible says. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. …” Romans 13:1-7. Regardless of who is elected president, God has got this. I will continue to pray for Donald Trump as our president and leader just as I would have prayed for Hillary Clinton as our leader. Above all, I will pray for our Nation and for God’s will to be done in and through me.

Secondly, our democracy worked. Regardless of what I think about the electoral college system, or the quality of the candidates that either party put forward; the system worked as it is currently designed to work. We had primary elections, we put candidates forward, and each one of us had an equal opportunity to go vote. The people voted, and Donald Trump won. As many people as are drastically upset about this, there are an equal number of people who felt he was best equipped to lead our country. I respect that system.

Third, regardless of what kind of person Donald Trump is, he is not the one that influences my children. There have been a lot of lying, cheating, stealing, abusive, and arrogant leaders in power before him. Not one of them had the power to shape who I am as a person, and he doesn’t have the power to shape my children. If I don’t want my son to be an arrogant, sexist pig that abuses women, I need to model appropriate behavior at home. I need to teach him to value women (and men for that matter), I need to teach him appropriate words to say to and about women. I need to teach him how to not be an ass. I need to surround him with a community of like minded people that will shape him into the man he needs to be. If I don’t want my daughter to be victimized by chauvinist men in our society, I need to teach her to respect herself. I need to make sure she is keenly aware of her worth in Christ, her worth to me, and her worth to this society. No one can make her feel inferior without her consent. It is my job to teach her how to physically, mentally and emotionally defend herself against the scum of the earth of this society that may try to exploit her. But, more importantly, I hope to teach her how to chose wisely the people she surrounds herself with, so that she won’t be in those situations.

Fifth, don’t believe everything the media tells you. Take information, evaluate it, check it for accuracy, and form your own opinion. You cannot and should not be dictated by a biased media one way or the other. Have a brain, use it. Don’t let the media tell you what is going to happen with the weather, with the election, or in the economy. You discover your own information. You know what is true. Be smarter than taking every word that comes through the internet or television as gospel truth.

Oh, what about the children and people that Trump is going to discriminate, hate and deport? Well, I hope I don’t have to say a word to those people. I hope I have already said what needs to be said to them, and more importantly loved them with the love of Christ. They should not doubt my support for them and love for them, and willingness to fight for them regardless of who is president. I can honestly say I have watched, and cried, and pleaded as my friends and employees have been deported on more than one occasion. I have watched parents ripped away from their children. And, friends, that has happened with both a democrat and republican in office. I know people who are afraid to share their religion because of the disrespect they will receive. If I feel the need to tell those people anything based the presidential election, I have already screwed that up. God has called me to love all his children and spread the compassion of Christ regardless of who is president. That conversation, more importantly, those actions, should have started long before today. Do I know people in this country illegally, yep. Do I tend to align with the Republican party, yep. Do I think they should all be departed, nope. The system is flawed. We need to figure out how to love and honor all people while having an immigration program that is safe. Shipping them off and building a wall isn’t it. But, we haven’t been doing “it” correctly for quiet some time. I have to do and say what I am called to do as a Christian, while being respectful to my government. But, I have and always will fight for the disadvantaged, the under privileged, the lesser of our society, those who don’t have a voice. And, that has nothing to do with the color of their skin, their immigration status, or their religion. So, please stop being part of the problem and spreading the fear gospel that because Trump has been elected these people are screwed or somehow less than. We should have been fighting for them long before now, and the fight for human justice must continue until His Kingdom comes and we are all sitting as equal heirs in Heaven.

So, parents, instead of worrying about what happens to our great nation over the next 4 years, let’s reset this process. One, model respect for your children. Start with honoring who America has elected as president. Two, show respect in your household to your spouse, to your children, to your neighbors and to those who just absolutely crawl under your skin. Three, take this opportunity to teach your children about our constitution, teach them about American history, teach them about what your core family values are. Make sure they know the issues, make sure they understand all the issues at stake. But, more importantly, make sure they know to pray about important decisions in life, and that they can trust God to be in control. Don’t teach your kids to hate our president or the people who voted for him or her. Teach your kids to be respectful adults who honor the process and fear the Lord their God. And, let’s all work together to move this great nation forward.

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