This is quite the time to be alive, isn’t it?
I feel like I’ve been watching the world spin around me these last few weeks with all of the things happening in the world. From terrorist attacks and mass shootings, to every detail of the election being covered and exposed on social media, to the contrast of “black lives matter” and “blue lives matter” and “all lives matter”. It’s sent me reeling. There is so much to sort through, and as moms, so much we have to process in order to explain to our little ones.
I have this longing to teach my kids about the world and what is happening. I feel that although it can be terrifying and unnerving and intimidating, we have a valuable teaching opportunity to show our kids about who God is, what His desires are for us, and where He is in the midst of all of this.
I want to do it right. We all do. And although we have differing opinions, I think all of us can agree on one thing: we want the best for our children. We want them to be well prepared for the world that they are going to enter in just a few short years. And we certainly don’t want them to be afraid.
So I’ve thought of a few things that I hope to share with my kids as we endeavour through this messy time. I hope they are a help to you as well.
1. We are all created by God.
All of us. Each and every one. I don’t think I can put it any better than the children’s bible song, “Red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves all the little children of the world!” We are all made by Him, loved by Him, and desired by Him. So when we witness things that try to separate and divide us, we can remember that we are all equally created by a loving Father, and that will always give us something in common.
2. We all have sinned and we all need Jesus.
There has only been one person on earth who has been able to do life perfectly, and that was Jesus. I make it a habit to tell my kids when I make mistakes, and when I’ve wronged them I make sure I apologize. And in the perspective of world events, we can adopt this same angle. We all mess up, we all fall short, but through Christ alone can we have forgiveness, and in turn have the power to move forward. He enables us to find forgiveness and freedom, as well as uses our mistakes to His glory and our good. And when we experience this grace for ourselves, we should allow it to overflow so we can share it with the people God puts in our path. Extending grace and love to all people is something that I really want to model and teach my kids.
3. God tells us to love each other.
As He has loved us, He tells us to love each other. This means everyone: no matter their skin colour, no matter how much money they have, no matter what they believe, everyone. And while society would beg to differ, you can love someone without agreeing with them. You can love and respect people and have differences of opinion. I desperately want my kids to know that they can disagree with someone respectfully, but that they still need to show them love and kindness. This is so important in a culture that is teaching our kids that love must equal tolerance, a society where we have forgotten how to “agree to disagree”. I want my kids to know how to love others and be respectful in challenging and uncomfortable situations.
4. No matter what, God is still on the throne.
Right now there are things happening that are confusing. Things that are upsetting, things that are frustrating. And let’s just be honest: there are things happening right now that are downright scary. But one thing I remind myself often, and want to remind my kids as they grow older is that no matter what happens, no matter who is president or what events are taking place, Jesus is still King. God is still in control, and none of the things of this world are a surprise to Him. And when we find ourselves weary or fearful, we can find peace and rest in knowing that God has never left before, and He will certainly not leave us now.
I know these few things aren’t a complete list, but I hope that they will provide you with some thoughts on how to answer questions and approach hard conversations with your kids as they encounter the tough stuff. The job we’ve been given in teaching our children is a really tough and weighty one, but I’m so thankful that we are never alone in it.
Press forward, mommas. Keep on teaching, training, and loving. I’m right there with you.