four Methods to Speak to Your Children concerning the 2016 Election
A number of years in the past, I quipped earlier than an viewers, “Election years make people crazy.” And that was earlier than I had any concept what was coming in 2016. For households with kids, this election 12 months brings distinctive challenges, because the marketing campaign this 12 months feels usually like a actuality present that breaks just for the Olympics. How can we speak to our kids about what they’re seeing throughout them?
An important step is to fight concern. That’s true in any election 12 months, because of the method that partisans—and, sadly, particularly Christians—communicate in apocalyptic phrases each 4 years. “If Barack Obama is elected, we won’t have a country left in four years,” was stated many instances in 2008. “Our country can’t survive the reelection of George W. Bush,” others stated in 2004. Elections have penalties, sure. Elections are necessary, sure. However elections are usually not the top of historical past—for both good or for dangerous.
Our youngsters ought to see that we’re involved about our nation, however not that we’re wringing our palms over the election. As Christians, we have now an Apocalypse revealed to us. This isn’t it.
The second is to keep away from tribalism. Many People see political candidates the identical method they see their sports activities groups. They mirror within the glory of the winners, and despair with the losers. My facet is all-good; your facet is silly and evil. When you have a candidate on this 12 months’s election, clarify to your kids why you assist that candidate. But additionally clarify why different folks would assist one of many different candidates, and accomplish that in a method that’s as truthful as attainable to these views.
One other method to try this is to indicate the place you and your candidate disagree. This will likely be true, even when your candidate is a write-in candidate of your selecting. For those who agree with a political social gathering or a political motion 100% on the whole lot, you most likely haven’t discovered a celebration platform however a brand new biblical canon. You need your kids to see that your conscience is dictated by one thing (or, somewhat, Somebody) greater than the pull of no matter mob has the suitable bumper stickers.
Past that, mannequin what it means to glean information from a number of sources. Don’t merely take heed to the reassuring voices of no matter media outlet will inform you your candidate (once more, you probably have one) will win.
The third is to coach concerning the points. Speak to your kids not simply concerning the points which are raised within the debates and within the tv adverts, but additionally concerning the points that aren’t raised in any respect. Ask why candidates won’t wish to speak about some urgent questions. That may educate your kids not nearly citizenship, however about human nature. Don’t simply speak about points that your youngster will see instantly have an effect on you. Take a look at how public choices have an effect on these with out a lot energy—the unborn, the immigrant, the indebted, the aged, the refugee.
Lastly, maintain the gospel the gospel. Present your kids what issues most to you, and that’s the kingship of Jesus that’s not of this world. While you see religion used cynically by politicians, level it out to your kids as what it’s. There’ll come a day when your kids will wonder if the gospel is only a cowl for some cultural or political agenda. Ensure that they see from you that you understand that, whereas the gospel has social and political implications, politics will not be the gospel.
Furthermore, ensure they see that you’re not enmeshed psychologically along with your candidate or your social gathering. You might be united to Christ Jesus, and also you don’t want another would-be messiah. Generally that signifies that after you’ve talked concerning the blessings of residing in a democratic republic, after you’ve mentioned the implications of the election on numerous points, that you just smile and shrug and say, “But it’s only the presidency.” Your kids ought to see that whilst you respect the workplace of President, you don’t see it as final. They need to see that your biggest hope for certainly one of them will not be that she or he can be president of the USA. It’s that she or he can be a ruler of the universe, as a joint-heir of Christ Jesus, sharing in his inheritance, reconciled by the blood of his cross.
Publication date: September eight, 2016