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Politics and Perspective for Parents

Politics and Perspective for Parents

In world-record time, I lunged across our den, scooped the television remote in one hand, and muted the set’s audio. After a noisy sigh, I hit the power button and the TV screen darkened.

Little ones with sensitive hearts and ears were close and I wasn’t sure how to explain the behavior of the men and women onscreen. In my five-second sprint to find the remote, there were shouts, taunts, and accusations among the sea of glittering politicians.

After my breathless dash, paper and crayons provided the perfect redirection activity and the angry adults on TV were (hopefully) forgotten.

To say this has been an unusual, never-ending political season would be an understatement. Every news report of candidates hurling allegations and slurs makes the knots in my stomach tighten a bit more. These folks aren’t slinging mud—they’re rolling around like tawdry mud wrestlers while the gathering crowds work themselves into a we’re-right-and-they’re-not frenzy. And the more coarse and vulgar the contenders, the more deafening the throng of onlookers.

If you’re like me, you are sick. Of. It.

As parents, we shake our heads over the political landscape in our beloved country. Would the men and women who sacrificed their lives to create a new nation over 240 years ago even recognize the present America? Can you imagine their heartbreak?

I know all of this has an effect on my family. Overwhelmed by the state of our union, I’ve prayed, Lord, what are You doing? He has directed me to His Word—the source of all hope, wisdom, and peace. And in spite of the chaos around us, the Holy Spirit whispers that all is not lost. Our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer remains in control. He is not surprised or confused by the political discord in the good ‘ole USA.

Do we need more good news? The world of politics provides us with unique opportunities to capture teachable moments. Toddlers can learn to pray for our president and to call him by name. Older children can study the issues discussed by those who seek office and can recognize how specific political leanings compare with God’s Word.

When we’re tempted to become discouraged by our earthly leaders, a good dose of biblical perspective is in order. Here are five verses to tuck in our hearts and minds and to impress upon our children:

  • Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21 NIV).
  • …that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting people may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things (Isaiah 45:6,7 NIV).
  • For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations (Psalm 22:28 ESV).
  • In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10 NIV).
  • A king’s heart is like streams of water in the Lord’s hand: He directs it wherever He chooses (Proverb 21:1 HCSB).

When our families seek God’s heart for our country and its leaders, we teach our children the values of honor, respect, and intercessory prayer.

One mad dash for the remote control at a time.

Family prayer:

Father God, help us to remember that our hope and future rest in You, not on the kings of the earth. Help us to love like You love and to respect those in authority—whether we agree with them or not. Help us to teach our children about character and values, and about the importance of praying for our nation and our leaders. May we remember that in Your hand is the breath of all mankind and that kingship belongs solely to You. We praise You and we thank You for Your perfect peace. We love You, King Jesus!

By: Leigh Ann Thomas is a wife, mother, grammy, writer, and Peanut M&Ms enthusiast. She has penned four books, including Smack-Dab in the Midlife Zone—Inspiration for Women in the Middle (Elk Lake Publishing Inc.) and Ribbons, Lace, and Moments of Grace—Inspiration for the Mother of the Bride (SonRise Devotionals). You can find Leigh Ann on her front porch daydreaming story plots or blogging at LeighAThomas.com. Connect on Twitter at @LThomasWrites.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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