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Handling Political Disagreements Respectfully

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There are plenty of couples who do agree about politics and who can have conversations about these topics without any problem. And there are those who disagree but are able to respect the views of the other spouse (and other people) and speak about their opposing views without contention. However, there are some couples who disagree and for whom this topic is a powder keg. Any time they talk about it, explosive things happen that create destruction in their marriage or in their relationship.

What do we do when others like a candidate that terrifies us or upsets us? What about times when someone is NOT open to hearing our views when we share respectfully?

  1. Let’s Humbly Remember That Each Person Has Free Will.

Our husbands (and other people) have God-given free will with which they can make decisions and come to conclusions. They are free to believe what they think is best at the time. They can have their own convictions and it is not necessarily my place to try to get them to change their personal convictions. I can share with my husband and other people if they are open to hearing about my beliefs. But I can accept that not all people will agree with me. My husband answers to God for what he thinks, what he supports, and what he does – he does not answer to me. I can respect that we each have the right to think for ourselves and – in the United States, at least – we each have the right to vote for ourselves.

I can disagree with my husband but I don’t have to argue with him. After all, God commands all of us as followers of Christ:

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:14-16

My having contentious debates about politics would not be very productive for my marriage or even for our country. My views are not going to change anything in Washington – I can humbly accept that. My job as a Christian citizen is to prayerfully vote and then to pray for our president, whomever he/she may be. We are also to treat our government leaders with respect and honor – even if we strongly disagree with them.

If our views are very different and talking about politics leads to hurt feelings, bitterness, or division in our marriage, it may be wise to call a truce and to keep my personal convictions about politics to myself (kind of like God admonishes us to keep our personal religious convictions to ourselves in Romans 14).

2. We Can humbly Acknowledge That God Alone Is Sovereign and He Ultimately Determines Who Will Rule in Each Country in the World.

I do not carry the weight of who will be elected on my shoulders. I only carry the weight of my vote on my shoulders. It is not my job to try to get everyone to vote for the person I think would be best. I can remember that God will ultimately decide who will be the president, king, or ruler of any given country.

Jesus told Pilate, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” (John 19:11). God has purposes behind every decision He makes. Sometimes God puts less-than-ideal rulers over nations as judgment on them as we see in the Old Testament. Sometimes He gives a nation what they think they want – even though they will regret their decision (i.e.: Saul in the Old Testament) – to teach them to trust in Him alone, not in a human king or ruler. God can and will use whomever He chooses to accomplish His purposes in that nation and in the world.

3. Let’s Remember That There Is NO Human or Government Alive Who Can Fix the Problems Our Nation Faces – Some might make it worse much more quickly, of course. But the problems we have are beyond human solutions.

The United States’ massive debt problem is actually a spiritual problem. Our crime problem is a spiritual problem. Our abortion problem and our drug/alcohol addiction problems are spiritual problems. Our race relations and the way we treat immigrants and migrants are spiritual issues that reveal the priorities of our heart and our love (or lack of love) for God. Even terrorism is a spiritual problem – and God is able to defeat our enemies IF we trust Him and walk in obedience to Him.

We have turned away from God as a nation. We trust ourselves. We trust the government and politicians – or we want to try to find people we can trust to fix everything. We trust the economy. But we do not trust and honor God. As long as we continue on this road, we are racing toward our own destruction.

When a nation rebels against God, they remove themselves from His protection and begin to experience internal destruction (from sin) and external destruction (from enemies). These are indicators that we need to trust God, not ourselves – that we need His wisdom which is so much higher than our own.  The solution to all of the problems that are way too big for any human or group of humans to solve is that we humbly repent of our sins before the God of the universe and receive Christ.

4. Fervent, Effectual prayer for a Great Awakening and for Many to Come to Christ Will Be More Impactful Than Impassioned Discussions about Political, Human Solutions.

My arguing will not fix anything. Treaties will not guarantee us anything. Political solutions apart from the power and wisdom of God will only disappoint us. God has a plan for this world. His plan will stand. No one can thwart what He intends to do.

It is possible that we are in the last days and that we are witnessing the Great Apostasy (the great falling away of people from God). This may usher in the 7 years of the Great Tribulation where the whole world bands together against Israel and the world begins to face greater suffering than has ever been seen before. Only God knows the time of Christ’s return. Only He knows if the Great Tribulation is around the corner. We don’t know.

My job is to pray for salvation for millions and to pray for the repentance of our nation and other nations and even our enemies, that millions and millions might come to Christ and find salvation and healing here and in heaven for eternity.

I have access to a much higher authority than the president or king of our country. I have 24/7 access to the Holy of Holies in the throne room of the sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords – the Almighty God of the universe!?!? How amazing is that?!?! Instead of studying up on the best political solutions, how about we study up on how to increase our power in prayer and increase our faith and how to pray effectively?

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS TO US AS CITIZENS – Romans 13:1-6:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

 

RELATED:

Is My Husband Bound By My Personal Convictions?

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God – John Piper (also deals with God’s sovereignty over nations)

The Sovereignty of God in History – from www.bible.org by Bob Diffinbaugh

Lessons on Effective Prayer – posts by Peacefulwife

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