I admit it.
I like talk radio.
I’m not one for podcasts, I like the odd documentary, and I stopped watching the news about the time my twins were born. But I still love to listen to talk radio.
I grew up cutting my teeth on the likes of Rush Limbaugh, John MacArthur, NPR, Dr. Laura, and Paul Harvey. In recent years, my listening has broadened to local radio pundits, Al Mohler, Ben Shapiro, Alistair Begg, and Dr. Tony Evans.
So when I’m listening, I’m typically in the car. With a full load of precious listeners: my children. And no matter what I think they might be doing, on occasion, I’m reminded of the old saying: “Pitchers have ears.”
Now, that’s old slang for “hey, you’ve got someone listening in to your conversation.”
So earlier this week, we’re listening to the news of 2020, and an ad for the local gardening company comes on (‘Nobody knows like…Zamzows!’) and a voice pipes up in the back:
Now, our kids are homeschooled. This means they haven’t had the context needed to have talks about race, and typically the biggest conversation to this day has been that, no, you can’t call that Crayola “skin color” just because it looks like YOUR skin.
In any case. I hesitated. Because not just one, but at least 4 sets of the 5 ears in the van were listening to my reply. I said a quick prayer asking God for the words to describe to my children this horrific thing without hurting them, and without belittling the issues of the day. My heart is to be honest and treat the issue with the dignity and respect it needs.
Because this conversation needs to happen. No matter the politics involved that make me hesitate. They need to know that sin, yes- SIN is the cause of hatred and pride.
Hatred and pride? They’re the underlying causes of bullying, harassment, and pain.
Bullying, harassment, and pain? When they’re directed at someone who has a different ethnicity than you? That’s racism.
I explain to my kids what racism is:
“When you treat other people badly? Because of their color of their skin or where they came from? That’s racism.”
My children are appropriately horrified. Wisdom from the mouths of babes:
“That’s not fair. They can’t do anything about that! It’s like someone making fun of me for having brown hair!”
“You’re right babygirl. And it’s sinful and wrong.”
“How do we fix it?”
Yes. The BIG question: How do we fix it?
Well, we’re big on going to God for answers here. So in step with that, I remind my kids of the bigger conversation:
Sin is wrong.
God commands us to love one another.
He calls us to love our neighbors.
To love our enemies.
To give grace to one another- especially when it’s undeserved.
To not take offense easily.
To do good to those who hurt us.
To pray for one another.
To reach out and be in relationship with one another.
To stand up for those who are without a voice.
To preach Christ crucified to all the nations.
To walk humbly.
To live justly.
To love mercy.
To put God first, then others.
We put ourselves last.
We can only fix sin by Love. Honor. Respect. Mercy.
This is the bigger conversation.
God calls us out throughout scripture to love one another but to ESPECIALLY love those with a different walk than we have. This has never been easy. Throughout time this has been a problem for mankind.
So…What does loving someone else look like?
Love is patient.
Love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
The best part of this?
Love never, ever fails.
So parents? Don’t forget to have the bigger conversation. It’s not enough to stand there and state a definition. Start talking now about real ways to implement love into our lives- take the time to really dig deep and be the change that’s needed. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.