In 10 Bible Verses on Government and Politics, I mention how politics are not what they used to be. Certainly, there has always been a fair amount of accusation, drama, mud-slinging, and scandal. But I’m pretty sure this year takes it to a whole new level.
Anyway, there are plenty of icky things that politics bring about. Especially in this election – both in politicians and everyday citizens like us. There are things that I just don’t want to pass on to my kids. So thanks to politics, I am making it a goal of mine to “unteach” them some of these political lessons.
Please note: all of these points apply to both sides. I understand that there is a lot of tension and polarization around this election. So whatever your opinion on the outcome of this election, please focus on the points of this post. Please don’t get ruffled or take sides. I will delete negative and angry comments.
1. Whoever is the loudest, their opinion wins.
Our culture seems to be turning to the principle of “speak now, or forever hold your peace,” rather than, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I want to teach my kids that it’s okay not to show all your cards at once. There are times to share your opinion, and there are times to keep quiet, wait, observe, and learn.
I need to be careful about this. I try not to get political on social media. But the other day, a political post on my What You Make It Facebook page almost immediately scored a negative comment. As irritating as the response was, what really occurs to me is that I don’t want to generate that culture. I don’t want to alienate people who come to this blog. It’s not worth losing you over. Also, thank you for continuing to come back.
It also doesn’t make your opinion the right one just because you’re shouting it from a megaphone, whether you’re a politician, the media, a celebrity, or an everyday citizen. I so want my kids to have their own opinions, but for them to be open to and respectful of all different ones as well.
2. It’s okay to act however you want, as long as you are well-liked.
In a lot of ways, morals go completely out the window with politicians. It seems to me that they get away with things that are not okay for most of the general public. It’s a long-standing tradition, and again, I mean this for both sides.
I want my kids to know the impact of their choices later in life. As much as I want to protect them, I don’t want to always hold them back from consequences for their behavior. I think it’s important that they experience them.
3. Decisions should be made out of fear more than hope.
This election has been driven by a lot of fear; again, on both sides. We fear the disruption of peace with our and other nations; we fear decisions that will negatively affect our economy and safety, among other things; and we fear the unknown.
I want my kids to see me hopeful, instead of fearful. I want them to see me make faithful decisions, instead of constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. This means I will need to be in prayer and relying on scripture, because if I focus too much on this world, fear is what I keep coming up with.
4. One person can make or break the entire country.
So many times in the past, I thought that the new president would make or break us. While we often fear the worst, it hasn’t happened yet, guys. One person cannot be the savior of our country or our world, except Jesus. And one person cannot singlehandedly bring it down.
I want to teach my kids that there is something and someone greater than this world. That despite all the problems in the world, we don’t have to put all our hopes in people to save us. That we can motivate change right from where we are standing.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, all of these things start with me. And it’s a tall order. I need to be careful about the opinions I adopt and stand with; I need to watch my actions and accept the results with grace; I need to make faithful decisions; and I need to trust God over people.
There are good things coming out of this messy election, though. It’s forcing me to re-evaluate what’s important, both in life and in our family. I’m reading books to my little guy with just a little more energy, I’m embracing the call to pray more for our country, and appreciating the examples of friends who are doing so.
What are you learning, or unlearning, from this election? (Again, please don’t talk sides or individuals. You’ve been warned.)