The Orlando Conversation

While we, as a nation, grieve with those who have lost loved ones in the horrific attack on an Orlando nightclub, the internet has exploded into warring factions striving for their own agendas. While some pray for comfort and healing, others are shouting for action and others shouting dehumanizing remarks at the perpetrator and even the victims.

Now would be a good time to discuss with your children things such as death, loss, grief, and empathy toward others who are going through those things. It might be a time to teach children the importance of remembering the individuals and the dignity of all human life. All of us are made in God’s image. Following that, we should treat our fellow human beings with the respect they are due.

It might also be a good time to discuss how to interact with others online. So many sentiments have been tossed aside as rage begins to take hold instead of grief. Teaching children (and maybe some adults you know) to think before they speak may be the most important thing you do as a spiritual trainer.

Also, and I am keeping this as neutral as possible, it may be a time to discuss how your family feels about things like firearms and their place in America. Regardless of your position, being able to articulate your stance clearly, concisely and logically, without anger or vehemence, to your children will allow them to have a clear head when they encounter a differing opinion. Also, be aware, though, that your children are human beings, too, and can and will develop their own opinions. Help them to do that, and to base them on a studied, discerning understanding of Scripture.

Finally, this may be a time to discuss how some forms of radicalism can lead to violence, regardless of the group. There are very few groups who can honestly claim complete non-violence at every point in their history. This violence usually results when radical, unchecked segments of a group decide that their own interests are more important than those of the rest of the world. Your children may have questions, and as much as you may want to fire off a long, ranting list of why a particular group of people are evil, be cautious: as you are raising a generation that will have the choice between impassioned hatred or discerning wisdom and forbearing love.

Take time to process before interacting online. Spend time in prayer and study trusting in God to guide your words and actions.

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