This last year has provided a great deal of anxiety for many people with the U.S. Presidential Election rapidly approaching. I have experienced my own thoughts of confusion, frustration, and anxiety about where we are headed as a nation. The Presidential campaigns and debates that have taken over our news feeds have been a hot topic, amplifying the cracks and division in America.
**I want to acknowledge that I have international readers. Although, you may not be directly participating in this election, I know that you hear about it, have opinions, and will be indirectly impacted by whoever takes office.
Ben Carson during the Revive Us event mentioned,
We are not just working for ourselves, we are working for the whole world.”
This means that whoever does assume the role of the President of the United States will have an impact in the way that America influences and engages with the rest of the world. This has been the case and will continue to be the case. I thought this perspective was interesting and worth recognizing.
I have never been a very political person. I understand the significance of my right to vote and I exercise that right. However, I dislike the way politics can be a source of contention in relationships and I tend to avoid it, rather than engage in the polarizing discussions regarding it. Just this last year I felt stirred in my heart about this. I don’t think it is wise to avoid politics as it is part of our role and responsibility as citizens to participate in, but it should be approached with respect and humility. So this last year I have put more time into following politics and trying to understand it.
Despite not being quick to jump into sharing my political opinions or bringing it up, especially online, it felt weird to me to keep sharing on marriage encouragement through my blog and social sites with no mention of how this election affects our lives, marriages, and even futures. It does, in big ways.
I thought I would take a moment to address it…
What I am not going to do is try to persuade you to vote for a specific candidate. I believe that if you take time to seek God on this matter, He is faithful to lead your steps.
I just wanted to share some points that will hopefully encourage you and your marriage during this high-stress season. Things that I have been wrestling with and have been trying to keep at the forefront of all it.
- Having a right to vote is extremely significant. We should take voting seriously and use our vote to voice our opinions about the future of our nation and our desires for the future of our families. Don’t sit this one out. Use your vote to help shape the next few years, years that will affect so much more than just this next Presidential term.
- When voting for a President, we must recognize that we are not voting for Jesus. As much as some of us would absolutely love to have Jesus save this country by leading it in that way, Jesus didn’t come to run for President. I think we feel as Christians that we can only use our vote for perfection – on a candidate who is a perfect representation of “us” (Christians). Every candidate will fall short of perfection. Only Jesus is perfect. Also, keep in mind that God knew who would be running for President this year, and as Max Lucado pointed out recently, November 9th, the day after the election, will bring… “Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied.”
- Don’t avoid voting because of fear. The enemy would love to have you hide out on voting day so that his agenda can be fulfilled. Don’t let fear grip your heart because you think you will be labeled or ridiculed. Don’t let fear convince you that doom is inevitable and that your vote doesn’t matter. Don’t let worry keep you from exercising your right to vote.
- We need to do our research. Don’t settle for just the headlines that the media parades through our feeds. They are catchy and easy to regurgitate. I see this happen a lot. We have become reliant on those headlines telling us the story and we don’t even take the time to read the whole article. We need to be willing to do some homework when it comes to understanding what our vote is saying yes to. Don’t vote for a candidate based on headlines or which candidate friends and family are voting for. Make an informed vote by doing your own diligence and research.
- Pray and seek God’s counsel on the matter. I believe if we are faithful to submit our perspective and opinions before God, that He will lead our hearts during polling. Ask Him how you should vote and let Him lead you in this.
- We should be willing to talk to our spouse about it. You and your spouse may agree on a Presidential candidate or you may not. Talking about your opinions and the research you gathered with your spouse is important. Be respectful and understanding of each other during these conversations. Talk about how the next President will affect the future of your marriage, your family, your life. You may not know exactly how it will affect all of this, but you can evaluate each candidate’s policies and talk through how you think they may affect you. Ask questions and evaluate how this election is making you feel. Sometimes anxiety builds up and consumes our thoughts when we keep it all inside. We need to be willing to engage in conversation about it with our spouse. Doing this may help relieve the pressure and help you navigate who you want to support. Just don’t allow this to be a source of contention in your marriage. Seek to navigate it together, humbly and with prayer.
- Stand for unity. If you do engage in conversations of politics whether in marriage or with other people, especially online, be willing to stand for unity no matter what. This great country was built on the unity of people with differences coming together to live in freedom. Let us be willing to carry that torch, seeking to keep our freedoms. Keep calm and be respectful of other people’s opinions. Our nation has experienced enough division. Let us be peacemakers, even in politics.
I must say that this particular election has revealed a great deal about the condition of the United States. The chaos, the character of people, the issue of respect, the insane debt, the lack of care for veterans, the lack of peace, the violence, the division…these are all vital signs revealing how critically unhealthy we are as a nation. It makes me so sad. Our strength is being depleted. We, collectively, need to stand up and be a virtuous nation, teaching the next generation, our children, how to do this.
It starts with each one of us, individually.
As much as this election has stirred people’s emotions and been the source of many anxieties, we are in it together. Let us support one another and the journey we are all on in navigating politics. This is hard, no doubt. I hope these things I have shared with you encourages you during this time.
And remember, no matter who is our President, the safest most secure place that will ever exist, where true freedom reigns, is in God’s hands!
Again, if you have any anxiety or uncertainty surrounding this election I highly recommend you go see Revive Us in theaters for one night only this coming Monday night October 24th!
May we be in constant prayer for this world and for the leaders of this world. May we pray for God’s will to be done.