"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Our children will be leaders or followers, and depending on the circumstances they will most likely be a combination of both. If they lead, how do they lead toward righteousness? If they follow, how do they choose whom to follow? Our national election season is past, but our local elections are this month. We are faced with multiple decisions about who to vote for, and unlike the national elections, we know some of the candidates for our small town personally. Piggy-backing on our previous topic, obedience, we should help our children understand the importance of wise choices and leading in righteousness.
Another factor is the necessity to avoid the pitfalls of peer pressure. In our small town there are differing opinions for the purpose of a piece of land. The developers of the land have gone about the legal process for purchase and development, spoken to involved parties, including conservatory leadership, and made a plan. The land was purchased and is being zoned as the city had planned. Now the conservatory has decided they do not like the plan, and the developer is being labeled a villain. The conservatory group has worked to energize a group of students to protest, the list included one of our sons and many his friends. Our son chose not to participate.
The other day an open forum allowed for citizens to voice their opinions. One speaker was my son, a high school senior, who has been a volunteer with the conservatory and shares in their love of nature. He also sees the benefits of the development for the greater good of the citizens as a whole. He spoke eloquently about both sides of the issue, but in support of the approved development plan, angering the conservatory. What made my husband and I most proud is not that he stood in front of many adults, in opposition with his peers, who were passionate about their beliefs, but when he spoke he brought facts, distinct points and a calm presence that dispelled the emotionally charged, false statements made by the opposition.
Being a peace keeper, or a good leader, is not the absence of choosing a side, but taking a stand for truth. Our son stood with courage to speak facts, irregardless of consequences from peers and those in authority. This is not the first time, nor do I believe it is the last. The LORD prepares our children to be warriors, to fight for peace while bringing glory to the Father through integrity and walking in truth with courage. Christ did not avoid speaking out against the leadership of His day. He was bold, fearless while referencing scriptural facts, speaking with authority. As in all things, Jesus is the example for our children.
Holy Father, help our children choose whom to follow. Help us teach them how to determine who is a good leader, one who walks with You for Your purposes. May they lead when called to do so. Please be with them, and make them bold and courageous when standing for truth, respectful of those in authority over them, and displaying characteristics worthy of Your Name. Amen