My post, 5 Things a Blessed Mom Should Consider Before Posting on Social Media, has received so many great comments and readership!  One comment that keeps popping up is about my quote:

“I will SHOW UP on election day, then SHUT UP if my candidate doesn’t win.”

One of my readers, Amanda, shared:

“My mom has always taught me that to be silent is to be selfish.”

(see her entire comment in the comments section on that post here)

My one statement in an article about social media caused misunderstanding about how I’m teaching my kids to view politics.  My point in that article was to call attention to the mud-slinging and uninformed, ignorant name-calling.  I just won’t cover up the facts and logistics of an argument with a crazy lunchroom food fight.  The issues deserve more credibility than that.

In truth, I love my great nation, The USofA.  In recent years, it is not always popular to say so, but I do 100% stand behind my love for it.  I am a patriot.

If you ask me, I’ll tell you what party I belong to without hesitance, still holding respect for you to hold a different affiliation.  My party affiliation is not a result of hereditary assignations, but my love for country is.  I have friends and family on all sides of the issues.  I say “all sides” because as much as I wish everything was cut and dried, I have to admit that gray exists.  I’ve participated in campaigns, signed petitions, stood on courthouse lawns in rallies and peaceful protests.

One of the greatest tools that we have in our arsenal to spread change, though, is social media.  Social media has broken boundaries.  Whoever thought a person could have a conversation with Katy Perry or Carrie Underwood?  Now you can tweet them and get a real, honest-to-goodness response from the very celebrity.  No snail mail or fan club dues or waiting in line at a concert for them to sign your arm with a permanent pen.

We can submit our thoughts to our public officials with a click.  If the language gets their attention and we have enough followers, we can make them nervous enough to change on an issue.  In fact, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

“We the People.” There IS power in numbers.  WE are this country.  Whether you like her or not, Sarah Palin‘s book, America By Heart, is an eloquent tribute to how much “We the People” own the government and not the other way around.  We just have to TAKE ownership.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV)

This is what I expect of my children as responsible US citizens…even cosmopolitans.  This is what I expect of myself:

 

1.  PRAY

God is my governor.  I look to God’s Word and Jesus’ living example to know how to act, seek out what is right and understand my own limitations and boundaries.  When you live in a “free” country, you must look to God for your convictions.

Our republic and democratic government entitles us to a vote.  I pray that my own convictions are based on what I have read in the Bible.  What can I allow into my life?  What are the repercussions from those choices?

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for … kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (I Timothy 2:1-2 NIV)

It IS possible to have someone in a public office who does not aspire to act with biblical and moral principles and yet this official make Godly choices based on our prayers.  God was able to control Pharaoh’s heart to eventually ensure the Hebrew release from slavery.

 

2.  VOTE

After praying, act.  Sadly, I know so many who don’t think their votes count.  That deeply saddens me.  I can only assume that someone somewhere in their lifetime told them that their say doesn’t matter.  My children will know differently.  Their say DOES matter…even if it’s different from mine.  It matters that they have an INFORMED opinion.

…work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13 NASB)

It’s important to instill in my children the knowledge that they will shape their future by what they mark on the ballot.  That is quite a privilege AND a burden.

Blessings can be a burden sometimes too.  But, if you’re a Mom (or a parent), you understand that better than anyone else.  Jacob understood that every time he limped; he always had a reminder of the blessing.  Kind of like that picture of your kids you have on the screensaver of your smart phone.  THOSE little blessings.

So, why do Christians often stand on opposite sides of the issues?  That’s because to fully understand the mind of God, our heads would explode.  You know what grace is?  Gray area.

Even in the Dispensation of the LAW (and the 10 Commandments), King David received grace time after time after time.  He broke 3 commandments with The Bathsheba Affair alone.  And yet, God forgave him because he was repentant.  He wasn’t excommunicated.  Some might even say that he was specially treated.

Hey…in a side note…favor ain’t fair.

But, who are we to be the judge?  That’s God’s job.  He knows the ins and outs … and the heart.

We make decisions based on how we understand what God is speaking to our hearts on any given subject.  Because we are human, there might be a little bit lost in translation.  But, God gives us that leeway.

He lets us make our own beds.  And then, He most often lets us lie in them.  Sometimes we learn from our mistakes…and sometimes we continue to lie down in a poorly-made bed with bed bugs biting at us night after night.

 

3.  LEAD

This wonderful nation and that glass ceiling that is just waiting to be broken by a female President.  Can’t you just see the hairline cracks?  My girls will know that they are smart enough, strong enough, and capable enough to be President one day.  Or Senator.  Or Congresswoman.  Or Pastor.  Or whatever.  I will NEVER refer to my girls as “bossy.”  That’s a moniker that has long been bestowed on girls that would be leaders.  The buck stops with the Wee Allens.  Remember the names Ezri and Edyn.  They may one day be running for office.  And you’ll know their mama, so you should feel safe to vote for them.  :0)

Women have been leading from the hearth for so long.  Even in Biblical antiquity, women had the job of educating the children (male and female alike).  It only takes one generation for the neck to turn the head.  Discovering Eve by Carol Meyers gives insight on the great societal contributions of Israelite women.  The Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31 is not just a guideline or a legend.  These kind of women truly existed back then.  They were leaders.

With great power comes great responsibility.  My girls are being raised to protect their integrity, virtue and character so that they will BE women who can handle the pressure of leadership.

We must pattern ourselves after Jesus so that when success comes, we are sure that our gifts do not take us where our character cannot sustain us. – Pastor Kevin Herrin

 

4.  RESPECT

The US Flag, The President’s office, The Constitution, our freedoms and the men who fight and have died for it (in no particular order).

A great friend, Pastor Jeremy Foster, set a guideline for his household (a wife and three daughters).  We have adopted the same idea for ours:

      Never call The President by JUST his/her last name.  Only “Mr./Mrs. President” or “President [last name].”
      Even if we didn’t put him/her into office.
      Even if we don’t agree with MOST of his/her decisions.  He/she is still the President.
      We respect the office.

And we certainly don’t put out vicious, PERSONAL assaults on social media.

I have a CIVIC duty to stand up when our government is being steered in a way that is contrary to my convictions (we’ve already talked about that earlier), but I have a CHRISTIAN duty to do it in a peaceful, if passionate and effective, manner.

Never mistake that I can’t confront the issues and respect the office at the same time.  Jesus did it.  He did it gracefully.  He did it effectively.  I will teach my children to do the same.

Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves. (Matthew 10:16 AMP)

 

And my final thought.  If I EVER hear my kids complain about this beautiful Land that I Love, I will say…

Get off your duff and do something about it like the Constitution provides for you…or become a lazy citizen somewhere else.  That is your choice. 

I will now ask you all reading to stand and join me in the singing of the National Anthem.  No, seriously, go feed your kids lunch.

Any thoughts or comments?  I would love to hear what you have to say.  Continue the conversation below!

 

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5 comments
Debbie
Debbie

My husband and I were just discussing how useless it is to spout out all your dislike for a certain party. In all the years of being on FB, only one person from the opposite party, has actually taken to heart what was being said and she switched her affiliation. You are either surrounded by people that think similar to you or polar opposites, so you'll either get all approvals or in a huge fight. Either way - you're not getting any farther down the road. Prayer is the only way to change this nation and make a difference. That - and people giving their lives over to Christ. The only WAY.

Alan Ryden
Alan Ryden

This is So Refreshing to read, and so pertinent for all of us these days,.. Thanks for writing I can especially appreciate the comments on "Respect" Using the President's last name only, seems to be obviously out of order, and a subtle dispersion used by so many, to the point that we're all "becoming used to it," yet who would do the same to their Supervisor at work, or Pastor, or any other authority ? Really Good Writing, and it's obvious you are flowing in your #1 idea, with consistency. Thanks Again, (I'm copying this to help in teaching my boys, such a careful consideration of the subject)

Carissa Houston
Carissa Houston

I tell my kids that Facebook is the worst thing in the world for American politics, because after someone likes or vents or shares, they feel like they've done their part and they move on. If you ask them, they're "involved". But liking and venting and sharing aren't actually doing.

Amanda
Amanda

Great post! I love the praying part because although intangible-prayer is the single most effective and most needed asset in our lives and in our culture (another lesson from Mom). Along with prayer, I think a proactive attitude is so important. If you can get your children involved in a campaign it will teach them so much. When I campaigned for a friend's dad in his race to Congress, I learned more than I ever expected to, and I no longer felt like a helpless American. I was making a difference. That really changed my perspective. Thanks for including my quote and for expounding on your beliefs; they have inspired me even more! Blessings, Amanda

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

I agree with you that social media is not the end-all for involvement. Writing a letter, getting involved in a campaign (as suggested by Amanda above in the "Comments." BUT...it is the BEST tool that we have to create AWARENESS. When we remember that awareness is not action, then we're on the right track about what social media can and cannot do.

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