10.26.2016

5 Lessons I Hope My Daughters Don’t Learn This Election Year

They call the president of the United States the Leader of the Free World. The unofficial leader of all who are free. Yet, the mud-slinging sleaziness of this election has caused me to cringe, as discussion has revolved around the ranking of women’s appearance, the depth of lies by candidates, and a grievous amount of face-to-face sparring between the two candidates.

Stand on either side, and you’re bound to be disgusted. A news article left open on my computer screen caused one daughter to ask questions I had hoped not to answer at the tender age of 6. She’s a great reader, so she understood the headline and the first few sentences, her impressionable heart soaking in the lethal language of the article, filling her young mind with ideas no 6-year-old should hear.

She knows both candidates, and she recognized enough about the article to know this article was talking about November’s election.

I’m so thankful for those who fought for my freedom to vote, to be free, to live here. I’ve been in other parts of the world, where freedom doesn’t reign, poverty is widespread, and the rights I know and love are far removed from the people of some countries.

We’ve elevated the office of president so high, and somehow lowered our expectations of those who would lead.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said it like this: “There should be no bitterness or hate when the sole thought is the welfare of the United States of America.”

What is the United States of America, but its people? Can you have a country without the first three words?

“We the people.”

The United States of America is its people. From youngest to oldest. From richest to poorest. From sinners to saints.

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Have the people seeking the highest office in this land considered how their lives impact the welfare of the people? When we’re considering the welfare of others, bitterness and hate dissipates.

So there are lessons this election year I’m praying my daughters don’t learn. Why my daughters and not my sons? We’ve seen more attention given to women this go-round than any other presidential election.

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Some have said there’s a glass ceiling being shattered by the rise of a woman candidate. There’s glass being shattered alright. I’m just praying the shards of splintered glass falling all around us by this heavy weighted historical election don’t pierce our country in places that will never be healed.

1. Be the first woman. 

I would say to that, “be the first person to do something, not the first woman.”

Please set your sights on goals that seem impossible to achieve. Run your race harder than you thought possible. Do new things, look for new pathways, dream of things no one has dreamed before.

There are men who will have gone before you and done amazing things. You might walk in pathways already trodden by great men who have walked before you.

But maybe your path is one unmarked by the feet of anyone before you. Be the first person to do great things. Mother Teresa didn’t wait for anyone to step out and help the starving in Calcutta. She simply went past her comfortable borders of the convent of religiosity and stepped out and as she says “did small things with great love.”

Your path may be obscure and unnoticed, but doing small things with great love is never unnoticed by The Maker of the Stars. Your star shines brightest on the paths where He tells you to shine.

2. Your worth is in your performance.

It’s a lie you’ll hear over and over again your entire life. To that, I say “Your worth is NOT in your performance.”

They’re saying your greatness is all tied up in the prize at the end. One presidential candidate’s interview tapes show his biggest fear is losing status.

He thinks it matters how many people sing his story. We’re so consumed in celebrity that we forget to celebrate the ordinary people standing behind every celebration. You’re probably ordinary. I don’t say that to discourage or disappoint. The greatness of being ordinary is that in Him, all things are extraordinary. All things are eternal.

That’s not a message you’re hearing this election. But it’s one that must be heard. He places his best treasure in Jars of Clay. And calls himself the Potter. His brilliant picture of ordinary is that it’s where He does his best work.

3. Your beauty is only on the outside. 

I cringe at this message the most. Please hear me when I correct the lie by saying your beauty on the inside matters so much more than what people see on the outside.

There’s been so much discussion about appearance. Women are beautiful on the outside, no doubt. Many are. This lesson is simple.

“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” 

No one is shouting those words at you, but plant them in a forever place in your heart. Your charm and beauty will pass away. The only thing praiseworthy is your fear of the One in whom all things began.

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4. You’re meat.

You’re not something people should salivate over.

It’s not a joke that you should be traded in for a newer version.  We would do well to not take lightly a candidate who thinks women are worthless, to be joked about and lewdly discussed. Who are only worth what he says they’re worth.

Here’s a lesson: Someone is always prettier, smarter, and better than you. If you spend your life comparing yourself to those around you, you’ll shrivel in a scrutiny of comparison that you won’t be able to stand against. Because if you’re meat on a stand, everyone’s standing around trying to pick the best piece.

The man who one day treasures you won’t hang you on display for other’s enjoyment or as a prize. He’ll keep you close by his side, as he protects and leads, loving you along the way.

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5. Life isn’t valuable. 

Life is the only valuable thing.

The unborn matter. You two girls both lived in my womb for nine months before I met you. You lived in my heart long before I saw your face. All life matters, not just the ones they want us to think matters. How can we debate where life begins and ends, when the creator of life says He’s known you since before you were in your mother’s womb?

And since we’re talking about the value of lives, there are lives being ignored by so many. When did we become people who love the unborn and not the born? More than 2.5 million children under the age of 18 have found themselves displaced, scattered and scarred from a civil war that has rocked the nation of Syria and is being called the “worst humanitarian crisis of our time” by the Mercy Corps. To our lack of response, I simply say, “Lord have mercy on a nation who doesn’t care.”

James Monroe gave a speech before the Virginia Ratifying Constitution in 1788. It’s years ago, but maybe we’d do well to harken and hear the heart behind his message.

“How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges….”

As we watch the decay of what we once loved, may we cling to what is good, noble, true, and just. There’s no nation in which we place our hope. Hope in the American Dream is no hope at all. I want my girls to become women of worth, who value themselves and value others. So, my little ones whom I love so much, turn your face toward the One who gives you worth.

 


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