Dear Aaron, Marie, Andrew, Sarah, Timothy and Dora,
On this eve of our 42nd wedding anniversary we wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts we have.
Dad wants you to know that he believes that controversial subjects and politics should never take precedence over a relationship within the immediate family. That is true for each one of us, even mom and dad. We are all very different.
Aaron Edwards said he was hoping to have CNN interview our family during the presidential election campaign because none of us are of the same opinion. We could have made some big bucks!
Seriously we want you to know we are not trying to silence your individual voices, you are all very passionate about different things. We raised passionate kids!
We are asking each family member to consider the following:
Instead of arguing over these passions, we thought it would be helpful to use some principles that Pastor Phil preached last month. If you want to listen to it, the sermon and link is as follows:
Adventures in Faith – Living a Life of Conviction, Part 12 – Daniel 3:1-30 / 2017.07.23
On the overhead Pastor Phil had the following:
Preferences, Conscience, and CONVICTIONS
Preferences: individual choices which are NEITHER right nor wrong
Conscience choices: right or wrong for me PERSONALLY
Moral Convictions: choices that are right or wrong for EVERYONE
We all have preferences, our favorite baseball team is the Dodgers, someone else’s is the Giants, Pastor Phil’s is the Padres. No matter what we want to say truly neither is right or wrong!
Our Conscience choices are different – we called these “convictions” growing up. In Daniel 1:11-13, Daniel and his friends felt they could not eat the king’s food because of their conscience. In the New Testament some believers could not eat meat offered to idols. Some Christians are conscientious objectors and do not serve in the military. Many Christian’s feel they cannot vote for someone who is not pro-life while others feel they can.
Finally, there are Moral Convictions and with these it doesn’t really matter how we “feel”. They do not come from us, we are not the authority. They come from The Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and The Greatest Commandment in the New Testament. These are God’s Moral Convictions for ALL human beings.
The Greatest Commandment is found in Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
We know that you all agree that racism is wrong, especially when you look at The Greatest Commandment. God created one race – the human race – in His Image.
We believe it is essential for us as a family to treat each other with love and respect, which truly is loving your neighbor as yourself.
We think where we have had conflict in the past is when we passionately think of our Conscience choices as having the same value as God’s Moral Convictions.
If we are loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind along with loving our neighbor as ourselves, then we are willing to humbly set our choices aside out of love. We are careful to not misrepresent the Lord or hurt another person out of love. We are more concerned with our testimony than being right.
We respect that the Lord has made all people different, including those in our family, some leaning to be more sensitive than others. So, we don’t argue with and try to change others.
We set aside our preferences and our choices are compelled by love for others.
The same principle of ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ needs to occur for our multiracial family to be healthy and whole. There are both whites and blacks that feel it is wrong to have a multiracial family. The National Association of Black Social Workers wrote a positional statement against multiracial adoption. It is not simply white supremacists that we battle against.
Pastor Phil said, “We best function as a society by living God’s ten Moral Convictions and The Great Commandment.”
Mom and Dad would echo, “We best function as a FAMILY by living God’s ten Moral Convictions and The Great Commandment.”
Social media has the opportunity for much good, but it has also created a bunch of bullies. Let’s try to be compelled by love with one another. Also know that it is okay to have boundaries and not follow each other on social media if we find ourselves hurt or embarrassed or simply sad. Mom will probably be “unfriending” some of you, but please know that she isn’t “unloving” you.
Lastly, Dad would ask you to consider this question – what is more important to you as a family member – to express your own personal opinion in this broken world or to be sensitive to each other out of love and respect?
God has richly blessed us as a couple and the six of you are a big part of that blessing!
It certainly has been a wild ride this adventure called marriage and family!
We love each one of you more than you will ever know. Dad and Mom