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'Oh dear, did my kid say that?' Helping our kids with the upcoming elections.

August 30 2016
August 30 2016


I’ve asked around and discovered everyone is struggling with this.

One kid, minutes before company was arriving, said ‘I hate (a candidate)!’ The parents, mortified and acutely aware that their guests supported that very candidate, gave a hurried lecture – as the doorbell rang – on ‘Respect Every Person Running For Office’…then desperately hoped their child, who was now confused, would remain mute.

Another kid came up to his dad last week and asked anxiously, ‘Dad, if (a candidate) wins do we have to move to Canada?’ Chagrined, the dad responded, ‘Uh, first, Daddy was exaggerating, and second, no, we will not be moving…’

Kids are passionate! Let’s raise our kids’ level of thinking to the level of the Gospel!

1. Until inappropriate, it is our job to honor our governor. God is quite clear in Romans 13:1-7 ‘Everyone must submit to governing authorities. Pay your taxes and give respet and honor to to those in authority.’ Most of the time we can invoke change through proper civic channels, like voting. But there is a companion verse for the rare times that we are called to civil disobedience. In Acts 5 when Peter was ordered to never again teach in Jesus’ name, he replied, ‘We must obey God, rather than men.’A good read on this is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship or listen to an audio

2. Everyone deserves respect. No matter who they are, what they do, where they come from. Why? Because we are all made in the image of God. Even people we dislike, are obnoxious, or we don’t agree with. No person is totally awful or totally good. No one candidate should be lionized, no one demonized. Romans 13 tells us what to do, and Romans 12 tells us how to do it.

3. Politics is important but God is in charge. Note that the same Roman empire that crucified Jesus ended up allowing the Gospel to spread everywhere. We are citizens of a different kingdom regardless of who is elected. Out job is to be agents of mercy and justice. To give God’s grace in every situation. To be people who live a different way.

4. Cherish the freedom to vote: it is a gift. Many, many people died to give us the freedom to vote. There are people today in other countries who would give anything to be able to vote.

5. Give them alternative responses for their next morning at school
Comment: (A candidate) is a racist!
Response: Maybe. Let’s be a detective and watch carefully. If they are, we will not do what they do.

Comment: (a candidate) is a liar! 
Response: Maybe not. There is always two sides to every story.

Comment: Anyone who votes for (a candidate) is stupid!
Response: I don’t think so. There are smart people voting for all the candidates.

Comment: I’m moving to Canada if (a candidate) gets elected.
Response: We will miss you.

Comment: Why even vote?
Response: It will make a difference. Somehow.

6. Pray with your kids for God’s help. Let them know that just as they struggle with kids’ comments in school, you struggle with adults’ comments at work. And that you need to depend upon God for daily help.

Lord, in the midst of heated conversations, may our kids be the ones who can keep their heads on straight and have clear minds. May they be careful with their words and intentional with their actions to show mercy and justice. When our political leadership seem weak or confusing, may they always be confident that You will continue to do your work no matter who wins any election.’

Take a few moments and read our Fall CCKids Newsletter.