My heart has been in turmoil the last week. My mind has been racing. I've felt unsettled.
There is so much upheaval. There is so much unrest. Racism, anger, name-calling, and destruction have taken over every news outlet and social media feed. It is demanded that we pick a side.
Law Enforcement or people of color?
White or Black?
If we question the riots, we're racist. If we feel anger at Law Enforcement, we're anti-America. There is this imaginary line drawn in the sand, and we're not allowed to straddle it. We must chose a side.
As a former EMS worker, I have seen the good cops. I've watched them deal with the unthinkable with a quiet courage and I applaud them.
As the mother of a bi-racial child, my heart cries out for justice and mercy. I cringe at the conversations going on around me.
Must I pick a side? And, if I do, how will it effect my children? How will it effect the future of reconciliation? Because the future of racism is being molded right now, in our hearts and in our homes. The way we raise our children now will dictate the kind of world they live in.
Which forces us to answer the question, "What can be done?"
I suggest we each take a step back, and examine these two sides. Could it be that they are both the same?
Who started racism and abuse of power?
Who instigates riots and disorder?
Do they not both come from the same evil place? Are they not both the work of the devil? I will not stand with him in any way. I will not agree with him or help along his works of darkness. Which means there is only one choice, and it is different than any of those proposed above.
Our choice is not between different skin tones, people groups, or law enforcement and people of color.
Our choice is between Jesus or Satan.
So, what can be done? How can we teach our children about racism in a Christ-honoring way?
I challenge you, as a parent, to examine your own heart. Is there any hint of racism lurking in there? Has a racist tinted joke ever made you chuckle? Have you ever commented on the color of someone's skin in a way that could come across as derogatory? Do you seek to understand others in a way that may cause you to rearrange your own opinions?
If you answered yes to the first three questions and no to the last one, it may be time to take your heart to Jesus and ask Him to show you why.
One of the most basic concepts of Christianity is pure love. Love that embraces physical differences and sees them as beautiful. Love that sees differences in skin tone as an expression of beauty from the heart of God. Love that sees different cultures as a gift from the hand of the Father.
If Jesus wouldn't think it, say it, or act it towards someone, then neither should we.
Now, to make it a little more practical for your children. Philippians 2:3-11 is one of the best places to start. It is simple, understandable, and easy to apply.
"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
And every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Mamas, this chapter is rich with practical application.
Selfishness bids us stay silent when we should speak out against injustice, no matter how slight.
Fancy words on social-media impress, but actions makes a difference.
Humility asks the hard questions and acknowledges mistakes in oneself, while seeking out the right in others.
Putting other's interests ahead of our own will change our hearts, our children's lives, and, eventually, the world.
Thinking as Christ did will eradicate racism in our own hearts.
When we learn to live out this passage, we will began to turn the tide against racism, one family at a time.
Will you join me?
P.S. A really practical way to be anti-racist in your home, is to purposefully include toys and books that celebrate people of all ethnicities. It doesn't need to be a big thing, but a calm, normal part of your life. I've included some ideas for you below!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.