As a Christian homeschooling Dad, some might think they can predict what I think of President Obama’s desire to speak with children around the country about their education. For many, their guess will be wrong.
I’m looking forward to watching Obama’s speech with my kids for many reasons and I will list four here:
1) He is our president, a man whom we are to respect whether we agree with him or not. Our culture continues to denigrate authority and encourage cynicism. When I listen and dialog with people, especially leaders, I may not always agree with what they say but I will treat them with respect and listen. This is one way I can demonstrate my care for my fellow men and women, no matter their station in life.
2) The years I’ve spent as a father raising my children have formed their hearts and minds. No speech can ever take that away and I’m bewildered at the fear and paranoia of those who see his words as a threat.
3) His speech is an opportunity to continue to educate my children. When an important figure speaks, it is an opportunity to discuss what he or she says. We do this with historical figures and their ideas and I will do this tomorrow as history is being made in our time. Discussing President Obama’s speech will be a fresh occasion to talk about the values and priorities of life with my children.
4) A pastor who has influenced me greatly posted a prayer that he has been praying. It offers a perspective that helps me get my eyes off myself in circumstances like this and places them rightly on what is the best for others. Here is the first paragraph…Father, the condition of our schools and families is so broken that nothing seems to be working, especially for the poor in our urban centers. Help our president to have the courage to use his amazing place of influence to speak into this situation in such a way that boys and girls would take their studies seriously and put school above sport and homework above hiphop and graduation above gangs. (John Piper, I Hope My Daughter Hears the President’s Speech, Desiring God blog) Amen.
And so I look forward to Tuesday and the thoughts our President wants to share with my kids.
UPDATE @1:55pm: Now you can read the speech for yourself parents