“Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” – Ephesians 6:14-15
Wow. Does anyone else feel like we have been caught in a swirl? I don’t need to mention all of the craziness, evil, uncertainty, dishonesty, fear, faith, sickness, healing, love, hate, and struggle the last ten or so months have held. Now, we are quickly approaching an election. How do we make sense of it all? How do we teach our children to be discerning? To make decisions?
I have had several parents contact me recently asking me how to help their teens understand all of the political arguments that are being raised or how to help their first-time voter make decisions.
“Just because you’re lost, doesn’t mean you say your compass is broken.” – The Edge
My, has this statement been rolling over and over in my heart and mind. This is the perfect picture of our culture in general. We are lost, and not only have we declared our compass broken, we have surmised that anyone who thinks there is a true north or believes that compasses do give us direction and try and point people down the safest path are hate-filled and closed-minded.
I will admit that I am a person who views things as black and white. I can think of few things that fall into the grey area for me. But you don’t have to be as black and white in your approach as I am to be able to make your political decisions or to guide your children as they make theirs.
If you notice that your children are developing a skewed view on the issues that we are facing as a nation I have a suggestion for an approach to help them seek out the answers for themselves. But I would be remiss if I did not mention that social media is your enemy. If your children are basing their beliefs about race, sexuality, life and justice on their social media feed (if you are basing your beliefs on those issues off your feed) deception, confusion and fear are absolutely the only outcomes.
“Buy the truth and do not sell it – wisdom, instruction and insight as well.” – Proverbs 23:23
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” – Psalm 25:5
We do have a standard. A compass. We can find true north when we are disoriented by the swirl happening around us. But you won’t find it on Instagram, in a college classroom, through friends commenting on Snapchat, by high schoolers supporting groups like BLM having no idea what the organization or others like it represent, or through “peaceful” protests where buildings are destroyed, lives are lost and businesses and communities are ruined.
You will find truth in the Word of God alone. We must buckle the belt of truth around our waist to bring balance and to keep us centered.
If I were unsure about my political beliefs or if my child were being deceived by the swirl, social media and their friends, I would go to the Word.
Make a list of the issues that you value most. For me, climate change and taxes don’t make the list. I have an opinion about those issues, and others like them, but they don’t determine my vote.
- Sanctity of Life
- Sanctity of Marriage
- Freedom of Religion
- Freedom of Speech
- Due Process
- Protection for my family
These are the big ones for me. Then I go to the compass. The standard. The Word…and I spend time seeking out His direction. Where does the Lord stand on these things? And then I select the candidate whose platform is on the right side of the issues, in line with the Word of God.
Here are some things to consider.
- It has nothing to do with your liking a person or not. These decisions have nothing to do with an individual’s personality. I am blown away when people say things like, I am voting for a candidate who believes in abortion on demand, killing innocent babies because he is a “nice guy”. Really? Regardless if you are liberal or conservative…you should make your selection of a candidate based on what they stand for, not on your estimation of who is “nicer”.
- As a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ and His Word, there are issues that I don’t get to have an opinion. Either I side with the truth of His Word or I am wrong. Period.
- Our decisions should not be based on what the media tells us, what our friends think or what we saw on social media. We are thinking people with minds who need to search out these candidates and what they stand for. You are responsible to be wise and not jump in to the politically correct cesspool of ignorance.
There will be days when we feel lost, when we don’t know which way is north. Our compass is not broken. We must be diligent in returning to the Word and seeking His counsel as we guard what has been entrusted to us. Do not let your shield of faith rest on the ground and do not sit your Sword aside. The battle rages. If you fight, you will certainly win. But fight you must. When you are lost, the compass shows true north. Every time.
Standing with you,