A Father-Daughter Conversation on God, Jesus, and Life

Tomorrow I will have another post on Christianity and Gender posted.  In the meantime, let me share a conversation I had with my daughter tonight.

I just returned from taking my daughter to a restaurant tonight for dinner (related to a school fundraiser).  At some point during our conversation she made reference to the wars America has fought.  I’m not sure what made her think of this but she said that in school (sigh…) she learned that America has fought all of its wars so that we could live a “good life and not be killed by other people.”

Somewhat shocked that my first-grade, 7 year old daughter, is pondering this idea and has thus far come to such a conclusion, I spoke up trying to correct what I believe is a very Americanized (i.e., not the gospel) view of history.  I told her about the American Indians and the wars that were waged in order to take land by force.  Rather bluntly, I told her that this involved at times killing both men, women, and children.  My daughter sat silent for a moment and then began to cry.  When I asked her why she was crying, her response was of a remorseful disgust when she said, “Why would we kill children? That’s not right.”

I wanted to cry for her because I felt bad for her.  At the same time, I was a bit disgusted myself in the way that our children are taught history…so that our American nation always looks like the good guys, always taking the high moral ground.  Nevertheless, I began explaining to her that there are a lot of things done in our world that are wrong but that God is trying to teach us to live differently.  Some how that triggered a thought in her about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom she mentioned because, in her words, “he spoke about peace rather than being mean to other people.”

So while acknowledging the good that MLK did, I wanted to point my daughter back to Jesus.  Thus, I told her that MLK lived the life he lived because he was trying to live as Jesus taught.  I then told her that if we want the world to be a different place, it begins with learning how to live and believe as Jesus lived and believed.

So what happened?  In one of those beautiful moments of trying to teach my own children to be a disciple of Jesus, my daughter stopped crying and looked up.  Looking strait into my face with a serious tone, she said, “When I grow up I am going to be like Jesus so that the world will be a better place.”

I wanted to share this because I cannot get this conversation I had with my daughter off my mind.  Praise the Lord!!!

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2 responses to “A Father-Daughter Conversation on God, Jesus, and Life

  1. There is nothing more wonderful for a parent to see and experience than to see something like this click in their children. This is a wonderful story. You bring something up that I recently experienced and I am not sure how I feel about it. I was speaking with a neighbor about some sight seeing ideas I have run across. I mentioned a home in the Alps that Hitler had built that people can now go through. She began to explain that that is a part of history that no one talks about. They (the Germans) were sorry it happened and want to forget it. My only comment was that we all have things in our past we want to forget, even Americans. So, I guess my question is this: to what extent do we forget things like this in our past? Do we no longer talk about them? Do we tear down places that remind us of our own atrocities or do we keep some form of remembrance so we don’t lose sight of what we are all capable of? Apparently WW2 is not talked about in German schools. While I understand their embarrassment and desire to put this behind them, there has to be ways to explain what happened so we don’t forget such things exist. I suppose if we could all (individuals and nations) stand in our guilt and admit we are in need of a Savior then the world would truly be a better place.

    • We have a member here who is German native, so I’ll ask her about that (when she gets back from her anniversary trip to Hawaii). I do know that she is very troubled by the nationalism she sees so rampant here in America because nationalism became very taboo in post WWII Germany, as nationalism was part of the fuel that fed Naziism.

      Having said that, I don’t think we should be forgetting the past…good or bad. As the saying goes, those who don’t know there history are doomed to repeat it. That goes for those who want to forget their history of edit it, redacting the bad.

      Grace and Peace,

      Rex

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