I want my kids to be around people they disagree with.
No, I don't want them to feel the need argue with all kinds of people. I don't want them to try to always prove their case. But I do want them to be around people that think differently.
- To solve problems. None of us have all the answers to life's problems. Being around people with different opinions, experiences, and perspectives is the only way to engage the big issues in our communities and country.
- To be open to new ideas. Going along with the first point, my children need their minds and perspectives broadened. I want them to see new places and hear new ideas, so that they can learn more about this wonderful world that God created, and about all kinds of people that He made in His own image.
- To confirm what really is true. This seems opposite to point #2, but stay with me. How can we really know what we believe unless we allow our beliefs to be challenged?
- To live out love. I think this is the most important. If you only fellowship and talk to people that think just like you, can you show them Christ-like love? Remember, Jesus came to die for us while we were His enemies (Romans 5:8). He pursued us when we opposed Him. What better opportunity to show God's love than to love someone that you disagree with, or have little in common with?
Will you encourage your children to be around people they disagree with? Even more, will you seek to be around people who think and feel differently than you? Will you pursue opportunities to love with a Christ-like love?
"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:46-48)