I’m pretty sure that my car isn’t bugged by the government because if it was, I’d be in Guantanamo Bay right now.
When I drive my kids to school, I always get the same question. Hearing this question several times a week doesn’t make it any less unusual.
“Dad, can we talk about the government and stuff?”
I always say yes.
Here’s a brief summary of every single conversation we have on our way to school.
“So dad, what’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans?”
“Not enough, son. Not enough.”
“Why would politicians in Washington vote for a bill that they haven’t even read that could have stuff in it that’s bad for us?”
“Because a lot of the powerful politicians in Washington are owned by banks and major corporations. They care more about pleasing their bosses than they do protecting our liberty.”
That’s the part where I hold my breath for a second and wait for a warning message on the radio telling me to watch what I say to my kids. Either that or a drone strike. So far, neither one has happened. So far.
There are more questions. Questions about John F. Kennedy getting shot and what kind of a president Lincoln was. Questions about ISIS and whether or not they could defeat our country. Tough questions. But important ones nonetheless that need a solid answer.
Sometimes I don’t like the answers that I have to give.
When I was young, old-timers used to tell me scary stories about the kind of a world that my kids would grow up in. The future is now, it seems. Freedom has eroded. Corruption is king. Pleasure is the new state religion. What a world.
After I drop my kids off in the mornings, I drive to work by myself. There are no more questions coming from the backseat. But there are plenty coming from my seat. Each silent question running through my head is saying the same thing. What can I do to make sure that my kids don’t grow up in the kind of a world that the old-timers told me about?
I think about letters I could write to senators and witty Facebook statuses I could post to draw people’s attention to what’s going on around us. But none of it seems to be enough.
I’ve got another idea. A better idea. Smaller but better.
Our sons and daughters aren’t driven to school in the mornings by Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson. That’s not what they need. What they need is a father and a mother. Not a father and mother with all of the answers. Just ones who care enough to listen to their questions and respond with the truth as best as they can. Even when the truth can be scary.
Parents, instead of chewing our nails off and giving our kids ulcers by talking about the world that they are growing up in, let’s focus on preparing them for it as well. Let’s show them the freedom that comes with living in dependence on the one true God and with independence from the false gods in Washington. Teach them the importance of working, not just for things, but for family and neighbors as well. Teach them to give and to love. Instead of ignoring the troubles around us, let’s teach our kids to spot the half truths while speaking the whole truth in love, even if it means not getting a whole lot of love in return.
These lessons don’t just come from our answers to questions. They are shown in the way that you live when you and your family come back home together at the end of another long day filled with news of corrupt politicians, shootings, riots and wars.
Many of our elected officials have sold us out. They have taken from us while hoping that the bread and circus around us would keep us too busy to notice. They have thought only of themselves at the expense of those whom they are supposed to be serving.
Parents, may the same not be said of us.
Our sons and daughters don’t have too many politicians whom they can look to for an example. But they will look to a father and mother. Even when everything falls apart, the best thing that we can provide for those inquisitive little minds in our backseat and around our kitchen table is a bold reminder that our ultimate citizenship is in a Kingdom that cannot be shaken and our submission is to a King who knows no corruption.
Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV)