The Supreme Court passed their ruling on gay marriage. You’d have to be living under a rock to not know this.
Our family talked about it—a lot. Like you, I’ve watched many online share joy while others shared their grief.
Our pastor did a beautiful job of sharing his heart on Sunday. While I know you may be worn out by now, I humbly ask…no, I beg you to listen to this video message in its entirety.
It’s not a sound byte. It’s ninety minutes worth your time.
Our pastor believes in talking about all things. World events, politics, there’s nothing off-limits. We appreciate this about him. Actually, that’s an understatement. We love this about him.
We’re a family of talkers.
We talk around the kitchen table, sitting in our family room, milling around the kitchen, while our four kids are trapped in our car on a long drive—yeah, we talk a lot. Our children may forget flashes of their childhood, but talking about things? Nope. They won’t forget how much we talked.
Would you like to know what topics peppered our meatloaf and mashed potatoes? The better question is, what topics didn’t?
When our kids were growing into teenagers and began flexing their intellectual muscles their statements made for fun and sometimes long debates. Even now, there is nothing off-topic. We are open to whatever they want to talk about.
But, there were a few rules to our table talk:
- Don’t be afraid. Sharing your thoughts and beliefs should never make you fearful in our home or in America for that matter. You aren’t responsible for how someone responds to your view or your side of things. Share anyway. What if this is your “such a time as this” moment?
- Be respectful. Don’t interrupt. Let the other person finish their thought before you jump in with your response. Sharing your point of view in humility and love is never hate speech. Which takes us to our next point…
- Name-calling. It’s the cowardly way to shut down the conversation when you don’t have a solid rebuttal. Being shouted down or calling someone “stupid” or “ignorant” shouldn’t halt our desire for communication. Case in point, I am a morning person. So, if Paul and I have an argument…ahem…a heated debate at night and I’m losing ground, I will more than likely want to call him something foul. This doesn’t back up my point; it only makes me look bad.
- Know the facts. You don’t just get to spout off without being able to back up your words. This means, where did you get your facts? “My best friends’ neighbors’ uncle.” Is not a good source. The other part of this point is what do you base your facts on? The Bible is my fact checker. But, can I back up my facts with statistics, reason and logic, too?
- Passion doesn’t make your point valid. If you have a heart, you can have passion. Emotion is dangerous because it can cloud the truth. Us girls understand this well every single month, am I right? I love my children passionately. Which means I’ll do just about anything to make their lives magical, and would plan annihilation for anyone who hurt them. But… love must never cloud the truth of their poor choices and from warning them of actions that can hurt them.
- Agree to disagree. In our political climate today, we’ve lost our ability to share our beliefs on topics at home and even publicly. We stay silent when we should speak. Could it be we don’t know what we believe? As a Christian who believes the Bible is God’s Word, I won’t ever persuade someone who doesn’t. That’s where I’ll agree to disagree. My job isn’t to convince my kids or anyone else. It’s to share what I believe and why. If they choose not to believe the way I do, that’s not my burden to carry–speaking the truth in love is. LOVING one another and our neighbors as ourselves even when they don’t agree with us is how we articulate well.
Home is where our kids learn to communicate. It’s where seeds of belief are planted. It’s where they wrestle with truth and where we should be ready to provide it.
Our homes must be open season for whatever age-appropriate topic our kids want to discuss. They need to know their voice matters. Whether we’re talking about gay marriage or green gophers–our growing children need to learn how to articulate their beliefs and know just what they’re standing on to make their point a valid one.
The Book of Deuteronomy gives encouragement to parents and what we need to do about talking to our kids. Read this aloud and see where you can talk to your kids as you walk along the way.
Click on the link below for more on this topic. My friend, Lori Wildenberg, has a daughter who identifies with the gay community. Lori shares some great pointers with all of us.