This unavoidable conversation about love

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
– Micah 6:8

On Tuesday, Tom came home a little early and we piled all three kids in our double stroller and ran to the polls. I’d packed dinner for the kids to eat on the way, but besides that we were completely unprepared for the two-hour wait to vote.

Boat? Mommy, why did you say boat?

Vote. We’re voting.

BOATING? WE’RE BOATING?

VVVVVVOTING. We are voting. V-v-v-v-ote. It means to choose.

Oh, Daniel Tiger voted once.

That conversation, on a loop, kept us busy for most of the two hours, and still when we left David asked, “But I didn’t see the boat?”

On the run home, the kids were hungry and tired, Tom was hungry and tired, and I could not be bothered by any of it because I was in the thick of making the most epic Instagram story of my life.

As we ran, we told the kids that voting (boating?) is a privilege that not everyone has, and that’s why we stood in line. Because voting is so important that, in order to get it done, we’ll even to let our kids stay up past bedtime. That’s a distinction that we usually reserve for Christmas Eve and Daylight Savings Time.

We told the kids that we were voting (boating!) for president, and we were choosing between a boy and a girl, which did they want to win? Mary Virginia shouted, “THE GIRL!”  and David shouted, “THE BOY!”

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We didn’t really talk to our kids much about the election, so they were quite literally voting down gender lines. Racism might be taught, but WOW, kids are sexist straight out of the womb.

There wasn’t a real reason we didn’t talk to them about the election. I didn’t purposely keep it from them, I just never really thought about it. I’m tempted to say they wouldn’t understand, but I have friends with kids David’s age who know all about the presidents, so that’s not it. I know one five-year old who can recite all of the presidents. My counter is that David knows most of the words of “Fight Song” and I just don’t think I can manage both.

We didn’t talk about the election, and after the election I’ve seen lots of blogs and articles about how to talk to your kids now that the election is over. Still, I balk. I’m cautious about what ideas I introduce to the kids, but I also want to be wise. My kids make me think through things with greater diligence and I’m thankful.

There is a strong temptation to believe that hate is the victor. That evil will win, has won. It’s tempting, but it isn’t true. Do not believe in fear, but in God’s law that is love and will never change. This election is confusing but God’s sovereignty does not falter.

What I will explain to my kids, without hesitation, is that Jesus is love and Jesus is King.

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
 Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.”  – Psalm 136:1-3

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” – 1 John 4:7-9

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5 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Chapman November 10, 2016

    Excellent post. I’m with you!

    Reply
  2. Lynsie November 10, 2016

    Oh I am so glad someone else’s kids thought it was about boating. My 3 year old begged to go with me and he could not figure out why the older 2 weren’t begging to go get on a “boat on the water”. He said he was not disappointed in the lack of boats when him and I got back, but I’m not so sure.

    Reply
  3. Rebekah Harris November 13, 2016

    So glad we voted early! It’s hard no way about it but we have told our kids that ultimately God is in control, he always has been. None of this election is shocking to him. Though I am thankful for the privilege that we have to vote I know that’s only by a move of God’s spirit working in people’s heart that any good change will come about.

    Reply
  4. Summer November 14, 2016

    What a perfect message to send your children during such a confusing time. A notion that they will forever be able to apply during the challenging and joyous times.

    Reply
  5. Gail Ann December 10, 2016

    Absentee ballot. I had knee surgery, and I knew there was no way I’d be able to stand in lines, or hold up to any wait.

    What bothers me are the people arrested for protesting, who NEVER voted. ABC in NYC looked at the just over 100 arrested in one protest. 30 some had never even registered, and another 30 some had registered but not voted. If you don’t vote, you lose your right to complain, at least in my mind.

    Reply

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