It really is an interesting line to walk with the kids, when we do not like the authority placed above us… a new kind of example to set, a new layer of life’s complexities to reveal. If you would permit me to look on the bright side for a moment, these next four to eight years should be full of good parenting opportunities.
The Lord has allowed this man to be in authority over us whether we like it or not. It is important that we not praise this man and it is important - I believe - that we not show outright disrespect for him either. Even more critical, it is appropriate that our school-aged kid understand a small bit of why we did not vote for him. He will, afterall, be in the position to defend his beliefs at school today and in the future as well (he revealed to me that he voted for McCain because "he doesn't think killing babies is ok, and Naddy voted for him because she felt sorry for him because he was a soldier prisoner"). I tried my best to prepare him for conversations he might have at school that could lead him to show respectful disagreement. We talked about one good thing (first black president and the significance of that) and one bad thing (supportive of abortion) about Barack being our next president.
A seven-year-old mind can only grasp so much when it comes to politics but one thing he can grasp onto with great strength is how we, as parents, respond to an authority over our lives with which we disagree strongly. He can watch us pray for this man, he can watch what it looks like to disagree with an authority yet still show him respect, and he can watch us distinguish when we are to go against human authority (when that human authority asks or demands us to sin against God) and when it is appropriate to obey that authority.
I ended the conversation, telling him that "Two things are for sure, Davis:
- God knew a long time ago that Obama would be our President. God was not the least bit surprised at the election results.
- And God is still God. He is still in total control. So we can trust Him no matter what."
"I KNEW you were going to say that!" He responded.