It’s time to celebrate the 4th of July! Happy Birthday, America!!
We’ve always instilled a love of country in our family. July 4 is our Mollie’s (our oldest daughter) favorite holiday. We did the parades, went to the pool with friends, ate watermelon, dressed in red, white, and blue, and watched fireworks at night.
But with so much going on in our country today that is troubling, many are finding it hard to celebrate our great nation. Other than the food and the fireworks, why should we still love an imperfect country?
As people of faith, we feel the country going in a direction that is not our preference. Our country feels out of control. But here’s the thing…this world is not where we belong. We are citizens of heaven. And we trust in our Creator, not our country.
So, here’s a great place to start with your family! Romans 13 is a chapter on authority and government and loving difficult people. Romans 13:1 says, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established.”
This verse gives us comfort that God is in control. We can go directly to God – we can appeal to Him to change the authority. And we can rest in the fact that He is in charge.
God doesn’t make mistakes. It gives us motivation to trust Him. This doesn’t mean we can’t influence our society. We can be agents of change while we still honor our country. (Yes, even when the president—Democrat or Republican—makes us mad.)
We have so many debates in our family. We talk about what’s happening with social justice. It’s important that we do this with our kids. We need to be a safe place for our kids to talk about what they’re seeing and to ask us questions. We need to relate to our children without ranting on and rejecting our authorities. Remember you are an authority as a parent, and when you teach your child to reject authority, they will put you in that category as well.
So how do you do it? How do we love our country while not liking it sometimes?
And what about the people in our country that are doing their own rants on social media or in the news? What do you do when people frustrate you?
Romans 13:8 says, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
In Romans 13 and 14, Paul tells us to love them “without quarreling over disputable matters” (14:1) and without contempt.
Jesus didn’t agree with the sinners around him, but people wanted to be around him.
How do you change someone’s viewpoint? Has arguing ever worked? What happens when your kids have a different viewpoint than you? The more passionate someone is about something, the less their argument seems to work. The more you seek to understand a person and love them and break down any barriers, that’s when you can have influence. That’s why relationships are so important.
We trust that God has put them in our lives, and He’s going to give us the love and insight we need to understand where they’re coming from.
Understanding brings influence!
What do we do as parents when someone in leadership or someone on social media angers us?
Pursue God – Go to God, seek His wisdom and counsel. What we believe will determine what we will do.
Build Relationships – Seek to understand the person who upsets you.
Create Culture – Build a culture in your family of respecting authority and loving those who annoy you.
Gather your family together, remind them of all the amazing freedoms we have in this country. Pray together for our country. Thank God for it and that we do not have to fear. Take time to appreciate our country and love our God.
Let’s make this 4th of July the best one ever! Fly the flag proud, wear something red, white & blue, and take some time to thank God for the USA.
If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].