Right now, in this UGLY political season, your children are probably hearing a lot of things that aren’t true. Most of the political rhetoric is overly negative. Some of it is hateful—or downright scary.
So what should parents do?
Certainly, there’s a time to be silent . . . but there’s also a time to speak up.
Parents of younger children, this is a good time for you to speak up. This ugly political season can be a valuable opportunity to teach God’s beautiful wisdom to your children.
Unfortunately, many parents don’t teach their kids much about politics. In a recent study, over half of the parents who were interviewed said they did not discuss politics with their children, at all.
Of course, many kids are too young to understand what’s going on. (I’m not sure I do, either) But if you avoid the subject of politics all-together, then your kids will miss the benefit of your wisdom.
In times like these, your children need YOUR loving guidance.
So teach your kids about politics: point out biblical truths, Godly principles, and reasons not to lose hope. Encourage them to trust God, instead of being afraid. Help them keep the election in perspective and remind them of God’s good plan for their lives. (Comforting them might also comfort you)
Teach these 7 biblical truths to your kids about politics:
1. Evaluate what you hear, very carefully.
Children are so trusting—and thus, easily led astray. Teach your children that much of what they hear online and possibly at school, isn’t true. Point out blatant lies and tell them where lies originate (from Satan). Teach your kids to be careful who they listen to.
The list* below can help you contrast Satan’s most prevalent lies with God’s truth:
Satan’s Lies God’s Truth
“Your life doesn’t matter.” “Your life has value & purpose.” (1 Pt. 2:9)
“Amuse yourself.” “Don’t waste your life.” (Eph. 5:16-17)
“Take all you can.” “Be a giver.” (Lk. 6:38)
“You evolved from an amoeba.” “You were created in My image.” (Gen. 1:27)
“Your future is death.” “Your future is life.” (Jn. 10:10)
“Nobody cares about you.” “I care.” (1 Pt. 5:7)
“There is no real truth.” “You can know the truth.” (Jn. 8:32)
*For an expanded, free printable of Satan’s lies vs. God’s truth, click here.
2. Be thankful for your country.
If your children only hear bad things about this country, then they’ll probably overlook the good things and discount the blessings.
Teach your kids to be thankful for these national blessings:
• A home. God placed your family here for His good purpose (Jer. 29:11). In His great wisdom, God gave your kids a home—a people to belong to and a place to worship Him (see Acts 17:26). Teach your kids to be grateful for the gift of home.
• Beauty. From the raging waters of Niagara Falls, to the white sand deserts, to the giant Redwood forest, our country is filled with beauty. These natural blessings are our heritage. It’d be a shame to take them for granted. Being grateful for God’s handiwork enables you to better enjoy and respect it.
• Freedom. The majority of the world’s people lack basic freedoms. Many cannot practice their religion, speak freely or be educated (especially women). Since we were born with these freedoms, it’s easy to take them for granted, so teach your kids to be grateful for their freedoms.
3. Be a good citizen.
Charles Finney, a pastor in the early 1800’s, wrote: “Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God.” Perhaps he learned this principle from the Bible. In Romans, Paul wrote that every aspect of our lives, including our citizenship, should honor God (see Rom. 13:1-7).
Use the Bible to teach your kids how to be good citizens:
• Pay your taxes (Rom. 13:6)
• Pay your bills (Rom. 13:7-8)
• Respect those in authority (1 Pet. 2:17)
• Pray for leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2)
• Obey the law (Titus 3:1-2)
• Vote for leaders who will uphold Godly principles (Ps. 2:2-3; 33:12)
4. Stay calm.
While the pandemic, racial issues, and the 2020 election are deeply troubling to all, don’t let your kids be fooled into thinking these are the worst times, ever.
Our nation’s problems aren’t new. Here are a few of our past issues you may not know about:
• The Whiskey Rebellion, 1791-94
• The burning of the White House, the Capitol, and the Library of Congress, 1814.
• The abuse at Elmira Prison, 2790 inmates died from malnutrition, exposure, and disease, 1864
• The Spanish Flu Pandemic infected 25% of U.S. citizens, 1918
• Bath School Bombing, 1927
Sound familiar? What we see happening now has happened before. And it’s not only here. Injustice and murder, disease and disaster are part of every country’s past. Present. And future. That’s why we need a Savior.
“Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.” (Matt. 24:7)
But Jesus promised:
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16:33)
5. Don’t try to figure it all out—you can’t.
Once the prophet Asaph was frustrated during turbulent times. He couldn’t understand why so many bad things were happening. Finally, he discovered that he was not supposed to understand and that all he needed to do was draw closer to God:
“Trying to solve this mystery on my own exhausted me; I couldn’t bear to look at it any further . . . But the closer I am to You, my God, the better because life with You is good.” (Ps. 73:16, 28 VOICE)
Corrupt politicians will rise and fall. Disease will spread and diminish. Wars will come and go. And although you may not understand why things happen—you don’t have to. Your job (and mine) is to trust the Lord and to draw nearer to Him. This happens one encounter at a time. My book: Seeking a Familiar Face, can help you and your kids draw closer to God.
6. You can be a citizen of a better country than this one.
While our country isn’t perfect, no country ever has been or ever will be. But there is a greater country: the holy nation of God. Teach your children that if they belong to Christ, they are citizens of the greatest, most glorious nation there is.
Teach your kids about the Lord’s promises for the future:
• Tears will be replaced with laughter and rejoicing. (Heb. 12:22, Is. 25:6-7)
• There will be no hunger or thirst for more. (Rev. 7:16, Ps. 65:4)
• We will live in a place filled with light and beauty. (Rev. 21:21-23)
• There will be no more disease or death. (Is. 25:6, Rev. 21:4)
• We will dwell with the Lord, forever and ever. (2 Tim. 2:11-12, 1 Thess. 4:17)
7. Man doesn’t determine the course of history—God does.
I wish I’d known about the sovereignty of God earlier in life, because it gives me such hope. Here’s what it means: a loving God reigns over everything, from world events to the weather. It means that no matter who wins the 2020 elections, we can trust in God’s good plan. It means it’s not solely up to us to save the presidency or the planet.
Teaching your children about God’s sovereignty will relieve their fears and give them a more hopeful perspective. Share this verse with your kids:
“He [God] controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars. (Daniel 2:21, NLT)
Even though this election season has been pretty ugly, it can be a beautiful opportunity to teach and guide your children toward a Godly perspective.