The Bible’s election-year plan

Written by Madeline Robison
Published on November 03, 2020

Food, water, shelter, clothing, and an SEYPP. Those are the basics we all need right now; everything else is gravy.

What’s an SEYPP, you ask? 

It’s simply one of the most important survival tools you must have in order for sanity and health to prevail in the next few weeks: a Successful Election-Year Parenting Plan.

Yes, I just made that up, but doesn’t it sound like it would be useful in this of all election years?

It turns out, as with everything else in life, the Bible gives us a roadmap, an SEYPP master plan, if you will. Some of my dearest friends showed it to me recently without even realizing what they were doing.

Friends can be wonderful teachers

It was approximately the twentieth assault on our family in thirteen weeks, and deep down I felt weary, a battered-and-bruised-weary. My heart and soul felt like Rocky Balboa after Apollo Creed had gotten the upper hand, and no one was really sure Rocky would be on his feet again (or seeing out of his absurdly swollen eye again) any time soon. He managed to get back up on his feet, but he’d taken quite a beating. 

That felt familiar. 

The assailant who’s been doing everything possible to brutalize my family, in very targeted attacks in recent months, is not someone law enforcement could come and arrest. 

He is the adversary, the prince of darkness, Satan. Call him what you will; I will choose to call him defeated and unwelcome here.

When this latest attack happened to my family, I texted some of my closest friends who know most of our stories of late, and immediately they sprang into action with prayers and specific ways to help. They texted and spoke truth to me. They reminded me of who my family is in Christ, and in his name they prayed against the plans and work of the enemy.

Several of them came over to do a prayer vigil for our family on our front lawn that night to consecrate our home and our family to the Lord.

When one of them texted to tell me of that plan before it happened, I openly wept. How blessed can one person be to have such friends, such compassionate, believing friends who understand the might and gift we have in unified prayer in Jesus’s name? 

Brian and I prayed outside our house with these precious friends. They laid hands on us and prayed for protection over our home and family. 

They interceded in spiritual battle gear against the attacks of the defeated one, reminding him and us that we are the Lord’s. 

Applying all this to the election

 Now let’s go back to the election and look at how we can lead our children through troubled waters. The Enemy has been hard at work doing his level best to pit one person against another, to accuse, to lie, to spread hopelessness and fear and anger and hatred and distrust like poison.

Friends, our country is under attack. 

Our Christian faith is under attack. 

Our freedoms are under attack.

 If it’s been exhausting and draining on us as adults, imagine how it’s been on our children and teenagers, whose brains aren’t fully developed, and whose life experiences and coping skills are not nearly as vast. 

All kids are sponges, taking in everything around them, doing their best to navigate the waters of multi-layered overload. Some, though, are more like emotional tofu: they take on the ‘flavor’ of everything around them and spread that either within themselves or out to the world or both.

 With what is going on in the world and in our country, particularly in light of the election, it’s more important than ever for us, as parents and spiritual leaders, to be prayer warriors for our children as my friends were these recent weeks. 

4 key lessons from Scripture

 Here are four key lessons from Scripture (and displayed by my precious friends) that we can apply right away and throughout the election and beyond.  

1. Focus on the truth, and speak that to and over your children and family again and again and again. 

John 8:32 tells us, “[y]ou will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” What truth should be front and center? Jesus, always Jesus.

Specifically we speak the truth that:

  • Jesus is Lord (John 1:1).
  • Jesus loves us with a beautiful, reckless, unending love (Romans 5:8).
  • Jesus created each of us for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10).
  • At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord—even the demons know this (Philippians 2:9–11).
  • Jesus is the victor over everything we ever face (John 16:33).

 2. Recognize that spiritual warfare is real, and pray like it. 

We are in a battle against a lion that is roaming, looking for souls to devour (1 Peter 5:8), and we must armor up for it. The Enemy wants all the souls he can get, but he goes after committed believers with an extra vengeance. 

Every day we must put on our armor (Ephesians 6:10–18), water our roots in Christ (Colossians 2:6-7), and stand on God’s word (Hebrews 4:12). 

If you’re ready to dip your toes in the water of learning about prayer in general and spiritual warfare in specific, let me recommend John Eldredge’s wonderful book called Moving Mountains. It provides a wonderful launch point for a vibrant prayer life.

Pray for your family, your home, your marriage, your children, yourself, your neighborhood, your state, our country.

Pray hard for the leaders you love, admire, and agree with to be firmly rooted in Christ out of acknowledgment that they were made in God’s image. Then do the exact same thing for the leaders who do not have your favor. 

In doing this we remember that the closer our leaders get to Jesus, the better they become; let’s usher them to that with our prayers.

 Prayer matters, it works, and we are called to it by our heavenly Father (1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16).

3. Remember: Everyone is made in the image of God (imago dei). 

Not everyone is walking with him, to be sure, and the fallout of that reality is obvious all around us. But everyone, from the politicians you don’t like to the bullies at your kid’s school, is someone Jesus believed to be worth his life.

Approaching difficult times and difficult people from this perspective will shape how we teach our kids about respect. In the secular world, respect is looked at as something a person earns based on what that person does. In our Christian walk, we understand that we respect others as a reflection of our understanding of imago dei.

Let that truth frame how you think about and talk about those you don’t like. Teach that to your kids. 

It’s perfectly appropriate, even necessary, according to the standards put forth in God’s word, not to agree with every policy a governmental official puts forth or every behavior we see someone engaging in. But we are called not to insult them or belittle them as human beings, rather to disagree with the behavior. 

Friends, if we can model this for our children, think of the sea of change we can bring forth and the habits we can develop in our children’s lives going forward.

4. Commit to a life of freedom, and live it in community.

Galatians 5:1 reminds us that “it was for freedom that Christ set us free,” and Galatians 6:2 reminds us to bear one another’s burdens. 

As believers, we know that Jesus is our hope, and because of that, in him we have freedom. We are called not to be slaves to fear, to our emotions, to hopelessness. Anger is poison, fear is a liar, and isolation is suffocating. 

The Enemy would keep us in the cesspool of toxic emotions, perpetually in chains, routinely cut off from community. 

Let’s not give him that satisfaction. 

Instead, let’s use the antidote to that: taking every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), teaching our children to walk in Him (3 John 1:4), and living out the fellowship of believers (1 Corinthians 12:25–27).

Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). That’s true in this topsy-turvy year of 2020. 

It’s true in this election cycle.

It’s true always. 

Jesus is Lord. He is in control, and he loves you beyond measure. Sound like a good SEYPP to you? 

If we follow all that, we cannot fail. 

To God be the glory.

Live perfectly imperfect

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Madeline Robison

Madeline Robison has been caught up in the power of words – written, spoken, and sung – her whole life, which led to her studying French and Linguistics at her alma mater, Vanderbilt University. A seventh-generation Texan, she returned to Texas once she graduated, and a few years later she met and married her favorite person in the world, her husband Brian. They’ve been married twenty years and are grateful to be parents of four wonderful kids, one of whom has been in Heaven with Jesus since she was four years old. The Robisons are members of Highland Park Presbyterian Church, where Brian serves as an elder and Madeline has served as a deacon. She loves Buc-ee’s, Luccheses, homemade soup, baseball, 80s music, travel, and George Strait. She has recorded three albums of hymns in Nashville and will launch her new blog, madelinemama, in January 2020.

Read more about Madeline

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