“Hey, Daddy? What’s impeachment?”
Alright then…here we go.
A lot is going on right now in our country. As a parent, my job is to help my kids navigate all that is happening in their world and the larger world. Ideally, I would love to keep my kids out of that world as long as I could there are times they will inevitably collide.
So how do you talk to your kids about what’s happening without creating unneeded anxiety and pointing them towards what Jesus says?
Parenting and Politics Christian Worldview
How we see the world should be through Jesus’ colored glasses. His teachings speak to every area of our lives, including politics.
In the Old Testament, Daniel and Joseph served in civil government. In the New Testament, John the Baptist spoke out publically against tyrannical leaders. Governmental issues were part of life even then.
Teaching our kids how to view the world through the lens of Scripture is imperative to helping them grow in Christ. If we teach/show them that Jesus should be relegated to an hour on Sunday, then we do them a great disservice. Jesus should be the center of our worldview and that includes politics.
When discussing political opinions and government leaders do so through the backdrop of Scripture. How does the law or leader or situation interact with what Jesus says? How should we go forward knowing what Scripture says about that law, leader or situation? How can we pray and act to bring about Jesus’ will instead of ours?
Be Age Appropriate
How I explain what’s happening depends on which kid I’m talking to. With our oldest, we will go into more in-depth and with our youngest not so much.
Our oldest, Jenna, is voting age. She will vote in the next election for the first time. We’re excited for her to be able to take part in our democratic process. I talk to her quite a bit about what’s going on, what our role in that is, and how we believe Jesus calls us to act. When she does vote she will be well informed on the facts and not feelings.
Our youngest asks questions when he sees something on the national news. He’ll ask what certain terms mean and why it’s happening. I will give him the broad strokes of the news without going into great detail.
Just be aware of what you’re saying around your kids. Even when they’re not listening, they’re listening.
Politics is an Important Part of Life
Politics is unavoidable. It permeates every aspect of life.
Jesus calls us to love our neighbors. So how can we not care about policies that dictate how they are treated? How can we say we love our neighbors if we don’t advocate for the poor, the imprisoned, the orphaned, the refugee? When Jesus talked about the good Samaritan in Luke 10 he said that we are called to love regardless of background, race, occupation, where we live, social status or any other earthly measurement.
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these my brother and sisters, you were doing it to me?” We are called to do these things in all aspects of our lives, including our votes. To teach our kids otherwise is to ignore a huge part of our faith life.
Politics isn’t the Most Important part of Life
Our faith and our King transcends any earthly kingdom. Our allegiance can’t be to this country or any other. It’s to Christ Jesus and him alone. When we confuse the two we water down the good news of Jesus and create an Americanized version of Jesus (which is incredibly dangerous).
When we talk to our kids about politics, presidents, representatives and all that it entails we must always show them while those things make impacts in our lives, Jesus is the one that overcomes all that.
In Mark (second letter of the New Testament) chapter 1 we see the author talking about the coming of the Kingdom of God. Kingdom is a political term and the early readers would have understood that. But it couldn’t be like any kingdom we know here. It was/is more than that. Jesus called for us to pray for “Kingdom come” meaning we should be actively praying and participating in bringing heaven to earth.
That means more than voting, more than political leaders, more than parties. It’s a call for his followers to be peacemakers, to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We are called to make our world better for his sake, to help people Shift, Grow, Go, Repeat.
Including our kids.
Whether you follow politics or not, it impacts your life and your kids’ lives. They will hear things at school and from friends. This is all part of discipleship. The reality is, we will either be a part of that process or the culture will. Someone is going to disciple our kids. The cool part is we get to choose.