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!!!