Raising a Christian Patriot is NOT about Politics
By Sylvia Cochran – Christian Parenting
If you are a regular Facebook user with a wide circle of friends, you know that the last two years of presidential campaigning have deeply divided the country’s voters. As a Christian parent, you know you are charged with raising a youngster who deeply cares about his country and its leadership.
So what do you do if you do not agree with the person who inhabits the White House – now or down the road?
Getting Back to Basics: A True Patriot
When John F. Kennedy gave his inaugural address on January 20, 1961, he headed toward a close by urging Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Frequently the quote is ended there. Yet Kennedy went on to address the citizens of the world and urged them, too, to “ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” In this stunning display of patriotism, Kennedy instinctively knew that only when the electorate in particular and the world in general takes on a role of contributing to the greater good, America and the world would be able to thrive. Therefore, it stands to reason that raising a child who understands her role in the world and in her country is crucial for the continued success of the governments that oversee them.
Pray for America’s Leaders
1 Timothy 2:2 exhorts Christians to pray for those who are placed in authority. There is no escape clause that only lets you pray for those whose politics you agree with. Instead, the author notes that living “a peaceful and quiet life” depends on this action. Do not limit yourself to praying for leaders at the federal level. Identify your congressional representatives, your city government leaders and others who have an impact on your lives. Pray for their health, for their wisdom and for their willingness to seek out the help of many advisors. As you can see, this type of prayer is devoid of political undertones and focuses on safety, health and good decision-making. No matter who lives in the White House or the governor’s mansion, this is the type of prayer that transcends partisanship.
Pray for Unity
In Colossians 3:11, a somewhat frustrated Paul urged the church in Colossae to do away with artificial barriers. National origin and prior membership in religious sects threatened to tear apart a fledgling church. In a wider sense, this sense of division also hurts the fabric that makes up the United States. As a Christian parent, it is your duty to help your child to pray for those who may not look or sound like your family. These could be foreigners from other countries or foreign-sounding folks from a few states over, those of other political parties and those of other faiths.
Pray in Gratitude
1 Thessalonians 5:18 exhorts the believers to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Whether your candidate won or lost, thank God for allowing you to live in a country where the peaceful change of political power is the norm. Sure, as a conservative voter you may have a difficult time being grateful for a president who may be of the opposing party. Even so, there are bound to be some qualities you can find in the man and the office that merit a prayer of thankfulness. As a liberal Christian, you may wince at some of the policy proposals championed by a conservative president. Nevertheless, there must be some character traits and personal convictions with which you can identify and that merit a prayer of gratitude.
Praying for others is not just a good idea but it helps you and your children to look outside of the family and tune in to the needs of others. Raise a Christian patriot today and you will be rewarded with an adult child who will not look at Uncle Sam and the political process with derision, cynicism and utter disregard. After all, were those not some of the Facebook posts you blocked?
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