Buy the truth and sell it not.. Proverbs 23:23
I was taught to love America as a child. We rooted for USA during the Olympics, and always got a little emotional singing “The Star Spangled Banner” or “God Bless America”. We memorized and recited our pledge to the American flag and the republic for which it stands. And indeed, America is a country worth loving. Yes, despite her problems, the American citizen has been more free and prosperous in the last two centuries than has ever been recorded in human history. While we are seeing the decline of our culture, America is still the best the world has to offer.
But what does God think about all of this? Should we teach our children to love their country? On the surface, this might seem like a wise thing to do, but what if you live in an immoral, hedonistic country run by a depraved despot? Do you teach patriotism to your children if you live in Germany in the 1930’s and 1940’s? What if Fidel Castro or Kim Jong-un is running the show? I would imagine that you would have a hard time teaching your children to love a country that is perpetrating genocide and other direct violations of Gods law. Even America is not innocent with the blood of nearly 1 million innocent babies per year to account for.
What then should we do?
Teach your children the truth about America.
First, you need to teach them the truth about our history.
Americans today know very little about how our country was founded and what kind of men did the founding. While not all were Christians, many did fear God and their combined success was largely due to their implanting the Bible principles of human nature into our founding documents. This is fundamentally why our nation has thrived for 200 years, while so many others have foundered. The ideas that all people are equal and given certain rights by God to freedom and life are the bedrock of our society.
Today, history is being rewritten. Kids are being told that America was not founded on Biblical principles. Instead, the idea that the founders were racists gets air time along with mentally insane gender “theories” and other nonsense.
Knowing that America has greatly surpassed all other nations is not as important as knowing why that is the case. This country was blessed by God because many righteous people were found in her borders. If God would spare Sodom for ten righteous people, would he not have then blessed Sodom if two thousand righteous were found? Truly we can say, blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12).
Teach them the truth about patriotism.
The Israelites in Bible times were intensely patriotic. Being a Jew meant something special and other countries knew it too. They had a specific culture with rites of passage, traditions, and stories to hand down. God even encouraged this at times. It is certainly not wrong to love your country and appreciate its culture and what is has accomplished in history.
True patriotism doesn’t stop there. What do I mean? As an example, if you truly love your child, you will not cheer him on to his own destruction. Instead, you will condemn ill behavior, obstruct any attempt at wrong doing, and condemn evil when it is made known. The same must be done for our nation and culture where it deviates from Biblical principles. When children are taught that there is no God and that we all morphed into humans from a primordial soup, we must condemn it. When current presidential candidates praise the organization that performs thousands of abortions each year, we must speak up. That is true love.
The unfortunate truth is that today, American culture leaves very little to be proud of. Teach your kids that loving America is just as much about condemning her sin as it is about appreciating her culture and history.
Teach them the truth about our role as citizens.
America has sent out more missionaries to a foreign field preaching the Gospel of Christ than any other nation. We have been salt and light to other nations through the amazing sacrifice of those Christians God has called to serve him abroad. Yet today, America is turning into a mission field.
Thousands of churches are closing their doors every year, and not nearly enough new ones are replacing them. Many of the churches that do exist are concentrated in certain areas in the southern and eastern portions of the U.S. leaving wide ranges of territory with a woefully inadequate number of churches per capita. On a personal level, I have talked to personal acquaintances about the gospel and received some startling responses. Many people don’t know who Jesus was, or what he did on the cross 2,000 years ago. This kind of ignorance to the truth is unprecedented in our nation.
Teach our kids that we have a mission, and raise them with the truth in hand, so that God can use them to fulfill it.
Oh, and don’t forget to model that kind of behavior yourself. Time is running out, and we don’t have the luxury of waiting around for our kids to fix the mess.
Your turn! How are you teaching your kids to be patriotic? I’d love to see everyone’s ideas! Let’s chat in the comments below!
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