Home Children's Ministry Leaders Politics and Parenting: Guiding Our Children Through 2024

Politics and Parenting: Guiding Our Children Through 2024


Growing up, many of us were told that at the dinner table we could talk about anything but “religion, politics, and money.” I’m gonna say, “Nay!” I think we should talk about those things, as often as possible actually, but with one caveat—that we are acutely aware that our conversations, our actions and reactions, our outbursts and our willful ignorance are all being observed and absorbed into our children as part of their formation, including their faith formation.

It’s an election year in America. To pretend that it is not is a ridiculous notion. To pretend our children are unaware is just as silly. Whether we consider ourselves a politically active family or not, the reality is that our relationship to politics and our approach to political issues are a part of how we disciple our children.

In my experience, most parents and caregivers don’t view their political engagement as an opportunity to help their children know who Jesus is and what it means to follow Him. But as Christian parents and caregivers that exactly what it is! It’s not about raising good citizens or making sure our children choose the right side on partisan issues. As Christians, everything that we do including how we engage politics is informing them about who we are and how we follow Christ.

So, we most definitely SHOULD talk about politics. But first, we should pray about politics And we should most definitely ask God for wisdom and discernment as we talk about politics with our children.

At a recent seminar, a speaker who was presenting on Generation Alpha said, “This generation does not need more knowledge; they need more guides.” Our children are flush with knowledge. It comes at them from all directions. Social media, peer groups, television and movies, books and video games, and many of them hold the world wide web in their hands. Knowledge is cheap and it lacks nuance—it is not wisdom. Our children need us to guide them through the onslaught of knowledge into a path of wisdom and squarely to the heart of Christ.

In 2020, during the last election year, a pastor friend of mine challenged his social media friends to create a political rule of life. A rule of life is a commitment to live your life in a particular way (Read more here). It’s an intentional approach to life, written out and designed to help a person to, as Paul would say,”live a life worthy of the calling we’ve received.” (Eph. 4:1-6). Back in 2020, I took my friend’s challenge. I prayerfully and intentionally set out to write a political rule of life for how I would engage with politics in that year and how I would endeavor to help my children do the same. I have copied mine below to hopefully serve as inspiration for you to do the same.

Remember, our actions, inactions, and reactions are all part of how our children learn to engage with the world and with their faith. It is all discipleship.

We are not always gifted the opportunity to think before we act or react, but this is an opportunity to do just that. Before the ads ramp up and the lines get drawn and the vitriol and anger that seem to dominate our political landscape today gets turned up to full volume—let’s pause; let’s pray—and let’s create an intentional commitment to live in such a way that we guide our children through knowledge to wisdom.

“Wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” (James 3:17)