Is anyone else tired of watching the news, reading social media, and listening to talk radio at this point in time? Everyone seemed to have an opinion about our new president. Yes, we have freedom to speak and the right to assemble, but what part of our constitutional right of free speech gives people license to spout hatred and disrespect on either side of the issues? Freedom of Speech
Our Founding Fathers created the United States of America as a constitutional republic with the Constitution as the foundation. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights states, “Congress make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting its free exercise. It protects freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The most recent assemblies graphically portrayed in pictures and words are far from peaceful. The language and violence make the news PG-13 or even R-rated. What is our responsibility as Christian parents when the waves of discord and disrespect roll through our nation and the world? The Word of God tells us, “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians16:13). Moms and dads, we are to love others, show respect, and pray: three powerful practices to model for our kids. Freedom of Speech
1. Love others.
It’s easy to be with the people that agree. But what about those who disagree with a political position, religious belief or moral principle? That is a whole lot harder. And it sometimes happens in our own families. Be the kind of parent that loves through the disagreements and shares a Christian worldview with others.
God tells us to love, no matter what. And why do we need to love others? “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we love others, we model God’s love for the world and his people. And we are to love all people. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… (Luke 6:27).
Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
2. Show respect
The Bible has a lot to say about how we are to respect one another. With family and friends, agree to disagree, respectfully and with love. This can be accomplished while not compromising morals and values. Speak the truth in love, respectfully.
- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Philippians 2:3
- Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
So in everything,
do to others what you would have them do to you…
Prayer is the Christian’s most powerful weapon. Quiet time to listen and pray is not wasted time. It’s the most important time of the day. Do we pray in earnest for our enemies? How much time do we spend praying for our country and our leaders?
God’s Word commands us to pray for those we consider enemies and those in authority over us.
- “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Mathew 5:43-44
- Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13:1-7
…if my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray
and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
My own attitude needs an adjustment and my prayer time needs a boost. Deep down, I want to be the kind of Christ-follower that’s summed up in a wall hanging I saw recently, “Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, ‘Oh crap, she’s up.’”
We all have choices: to respect or disrespect, love or hate. No matter what side of the debate you’re on, will you join me in loving, respecting, and praying for those who disagree with you and for our nation and leaders?
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
How will you model loving, respecting, and praying for the U.S.A.?
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott
Mom of two college boys
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of three parenting books
For more ideas on how to raise faith-filled families, check out Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love by Lori Wildenberg & Becky Danielson.