I have been burdened by an issue that seems to be creeping out of our secular world and into our religious organizations: How can we disagree respectfully? How can we handle our differences like Christians?
I was at an ACSI Leadership Conference this week and was dismayed to learn that pastors, school administrators, and teachers are resigning at an unprecedented and alarming rate. The speaker cited the deep division over the many aspects surrounding COVID as a major reason for this mass exodus. While I don’t wish to discuss COVID in this article, I do want to pivot our focus to our students and ask you to consider this: What are you doing to help your children navigate through disagreements without being offended, shying away from inevitable conflict, or resorting to what the world’s tactics are?
During the School of Logic and Rhetoric years, students should be primed and ready to stand up for what they believe and figure out how to defend their position. Helping your kids understand that their standard for any debate must come from God’s Word will open their eyes to the fact that there may not be a declared “winner” or “loser.” The importance of equipping them to stand for the truth will help them learn that it is possible to disagree with someone and not lose a friend over it.
By helping our children see that while truth does come from within us (the standard from which the world applies to arguments), this causes us to perceive disagreements as more of a personal affront. If we use the Word of God as our standard, we do not need to feel threatened. Instead, we can use debates grounded in this truth to bring us closer to God–and closer to one another.
How fitting it is that our theme this year is Truth. “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)
May we all stand in His truth,