Election 2008…Teaching Kids To Care
The elections this year will be a great opportunity to have an ongoing “lab” with your children who are old enough to understand a new president is to be elected this year. First off, there is so much talk about the elections already ongoing, that we must assume your children will be exposed to communications about it at school, scouts, friends houses, etc. Like with all types of cultural influences on our kids, we need to be sure to take an active role in teaching our kids the significance of the presidential election as much as we try to guard their hearts in other ways.
So here’s some suggestions that anyone can apply to their family’s approach to the election that I believe will help educate your kids, but also may end up helping you make the most informed vote you’ve ever cast.
1. Talk with your kids about the privilege of voting. It is good for kids to be taught a basic history lesson about our country and our form of government. The right to vote people in and out of power without government intervention is a very special privilege.
2. Teach your kids that no matter who is elected president in November, God will still sit on His throne as King of Kings, and He is the ultimate leader we must follow. Look together into His word in Psalm 72, which talks about how kings great and small will bow down and worship the Lord. The new “king” of the USA will be subject to this Scripture, whether he (or she) applies this truth to their life.
3. Take the time to understand the issues. This one takes a little work on your part, in that you need to make a concerted effort to actually think about the topics of illegal immigration, taxes, the war on terror and abortion, and many of the other issues that will arise. As Christians, we need to base our opinions on God’s Word, not just our feelings. We should not just sit back, mentally absent from the election process until the day before the election and then go vote for the one that we think is going do more for us individually. If we approach the election and election issues in this way, our children will learn to do the same. Kids need a model to follow. That’s our job as parents!
We must work hard to understand the big picture. Who we vote for needs to be the one that we feel God would have us elect, the one that will do the most to govern in a way that will be pleasing to God and not be contradictory to His word. For example, a Christian should NEVER vote for someone who is for abortion being a legal and acceptable way to practice birth control.
4. Pray about the elections with your kids. The person elected will have the power to make many changes during the term they are elected for. God is waiting for us to invite Him into our lives in everyday ways. Model this for your children by praying about this year’s election and other events as they arise.
5. Finally, take your kids with you when you vote if possible. I know this isn’t always an option, but if you can work it out, make it happen. This will be just one more way to show the importance of the day and the big picture of everyone going out to exercise this wonderful and important privilege.