There is quite a buzz going about our President’s choice to address students in public schools on Tuesday about the importance of education and staying in school. Although I won’t get a sneak preview of the speech and although I did not vote for President Obama in the elections, I am hoping that my sons will get to hear from the leader of our nation when they return to school. I may not agree with many of his positions, but as my sons grow up they will continue to be surrounded by leadership and influences that I hope they won’t agree with. Some they will agree with. But what is important to me is that my sons grow up with strong character, integrity, humility and leadership that reflects the image of Christ. But in doing so, they must be able to distinguish between value systems and develop the ability to think critically for themselves. Knowing our sophisticated media, I am sure we’ll get to hear the speech in its entirety on or before that day. A message about the importance of pursuing education and staying in school is a great thing for kids to hear. Anything beyond that will provide more food for conversation with our kids that will gives us opportunity to respectfully explain why we may agree or disagree with anything he says.
While President Bush was in office, I was listening to someone slam him on talk radio and a thought occurred to me. We (adults) are constantly commenting on “kids these days” not having respect for authority. Why should they? They are constantly privy to adults around them not respecting the authority placed over this nation, so why wouldn’t they be confused as to what that looks like? Respect for authority does not always include agreeing with or condoning… after all, Daniel was respectful without being in full agreement. He also was respectful while standing firm with his conviction.