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Lately, I’ve attended a number of lectures that were focused on some of the core issues plaguing our country today. While a lot of their information was accurate, they lacked any real substance or any solutions to the problem. What I mostly hear over and over is that we need to pray for our government, pray for our elected leaders, and pray that they would make laws and changes that would be God-honoring and nation-changing.

I don’t think that’s how it works, though.

We don’t expect our unsaved friends to live Godly lives. We are not surprised when they get pregnant out of marriage, live with their boyfriends, claim to be “bisexual”, and don’t attend church. They don’t know Jesus as their Savior; we can’t expect them to live like they do.

So why do we expect our government to be Godly?

The majority of our governing officials do not know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior. They are rich men and women who had great connections and wielded a lot of power and achieved some of the highest positions in the nation. This does not mean that they hold to Christian values and principles or that they have even attended a church service in their lifetime. It just means that they had the ability to get the right number of votes to get into office. That’s it.

While they do have a civic duty to uphold our Constitution and pass laws and legislation that are for the good of the people, they are under no obligation to do so along Biblical standards. And why would they? If they don’t have the Holy Spirit to guide them, and if true wisdom comes only from God (as it states in Proverbs), then the wisdom they are using is fallible and not from God. Period.

Yet we put so much stake and hope into these men and women and get so angry when they go against Christian principles and guidelines as if they honestly should know better – yet we know they can’t know any better if they don’t know God for themselves! So, what are we so surprised about?!

This election is lost. The state of our nation is hitting an all-time low. There is a good chance that God has given America its supply of chances and we have now entered judgment – the time when God just lets people go and do as they wish so they can see the consequences of continually not choosing Him (Rom. 1-2). If this is the case, then we can expect a blinded nation who thinks wrong is right and right is wrong. A nation with a distorted, humanistic view of God. A nation wondering where God is while simultaneously pushing Him out of every corner of their lives except the {empty} church building.

Is there hope then?

I believe there is, but it’s not going to happen immediately. I believe hope lies in the next generation. Just like we are always only one generation away from losing our children and them having zero knowledge of God, we are also one generation away from revival.

But it does not start from the top down on a national scale. It starts with individuals. With children. But only if we’re willing to work on it. And herein lies the issue.

Believers today are so busy making sure their children have “opportunities,” scholarships, and education that anything to do with church and God is put on the back burner. We want to develop our child’s potential and “church” doesn’t fit in that mold. Our children are also so used to entertainment and gimmicks that we turn church into a circus hoping to entertain them and in so doing keep them coming – forgetting that God is not concerned with entertaining us, but with changing us.

Until we are more concerned with our children’s spiritual well-being than scholastic potential, we won’t see the next generation grow up to be God-fearing, society-changing individuals.

Think about this: the men that we are seeing duke it out on TV, calling each other names, being blatant bullies, and basically demeaning the highest position in the world – where did they learn that? They had to grow up seeing others disrespected in order to find it okay to do themselves. They had to see an example of name-calling and bullying in order to make it so commonplace in their lives.

So, if we don’t want those traits developed in our children, then we teach them the opposite at home. We connect them with a church family that exemplifies the character traits we want to see in our own children. We use what is happening on TV as talking points and teachable moments instead of being afraid of it and angry that it’s happening. While we might like to expect more of people in their position, we really can’t if they don’t know Jesus as their Savior; they are simply incapable of it. So quit expecting it and getting angry that it’s not happening and just use it to teach your kids what not to do – and why.

But, teaching can’t be limited to the home. My husband and I are intentional with our children, teaching them about God and doing all we can at home. Yet we know it’s not enough. Simply having our oldest in a Christian school has done amazing things for her young spiritual life – teaching things we had forgotten and reinforcing truths we began at home. Then, we have her in church – every opportunity we can get – and we talk with her all week long about what she’s learning. Her spiritual growth has been phenomenal this year and we know that it’s because it’s the community of believers who speak into her life, not because of how amazing her home life is. We are not meant to do this alone, no matter how awesome we think are at it.

Parents need to see the benefit of getting their kids into church, though! Making church activities and programs a priority in their own lives and that of their children instead of putting it on the back burner to sports, vacations, and even family time. Understanding that developing their spiritual life is the most important, most beneficial thing they can do for their children; everything else is temporary and secondary. Remember Scripture: what does it profit to gain the whole world and lose your soul?

If we want to change our nation, reverse anti-God policies that have been instituted, the change does not, cannot, and will not begin at the top and work its way down because the change has nothing to do with laws (don’t forget the Pharisees) and everything to do with the heart. Individuals change a nation; government does not.

We need to quit placing our hopes, dreams, frustrations, and anger on politicians and start building into our children’s lives. Start reaching out to our neighbors with the true, full Gospel of Christ, no matter which politician’s sign they plant in their front yard this year. Show that our hope, joy, peace, and contentment does not rest in our how well and wise our government is or who wins the election. We need to be resting in the One Who says He controls who is in charge and holds their times in His hands.

When we ourselves begin to grasp the complexity and fullness of the Gospel, we become compelled to share it with others. Our job is not to convict of sin, change people’s minds, or convince a community to obey new laws. Our job is to present Jesus Christ and Him crucified and let the Holy Spirit do His job on the rest of it.

Changing a nation begins with individuals, not government. Changing the future means building into our children what really matters. Get out and vote, yes, but leave the results in God’s capable hands, tuck your head down, and get back to work sowing the seeds of the Gospel, starting at home.