Teaching Our Kids What It Means to be Patriotic

Grungy Betsy Ross Flag With Thirteen Stars and StripesAs we get ready to celebrate the 4th of July–Our Independence Day–symbols of our freedom are everywhere! Red, white and blue decorate our homes, as we proudly show off pride in being American.

What does patriotism mean to you? Words and phrases come to my mind when I think about patriotism. Love of country. Loyalty to the United States of America. Pride and honor. Service. Freedom and liberty. Sacrifice. Integrity and courage. Honor.

Praying for Our Leaders

Is being patriotic Biblical? The Bible tells us In Romans 13 that, “All authority comes from God”, and in Romans 13:2, “Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God”.

Paul, even living in the time of Nero– a horrific leader of the Roman Empire, who was famous for persecuting Christians– taught that we must live by the laws of the land but PRAY FOR OUR LEADERS.

1 Timothy 2:1-2I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

The challenge to us as parents and patriots is that even if we disagree with the people who have been elected to run our country or the direction in which our country is headed, it is still very important to show our children the importance of loving America by praying for those who are in authority and who make the laws by which we are governed. Biblically, that is what we are to do.

Citizens of Heaven

Another important lesson to teach our children is that Christianity and patriotism are not synonymous terms. Feeling a strong sense of patriotism can sometimes look and feel like a religion, in and of itself. While we love our country, and have pride to be American; while we stand firm and uphold all that she stands for, 1 Peter 2:11 reminds us that we are actually “aliens and strangers” in a very unholy and ungodly world. We are indeed, FIRST, citizens of Heaven, not of this world! While pledging our allegiance to the Flag and to the United States of America, we must also teach our children that no unqualified allegiance and no loyalty is as important to that of our allegiance and loyalty to God, who is sovereign over all creation.

Is there a middle ground? Can I be patriotic and still question civil authority? I believe the answer is a definite yes! An important element to remember, and then to teach by example, is that when we do disagree with those who are in authority, we never use slanderous, hateful language. That type of behavior is un-Christian, even if we do so with the thought of being patriotic. Instead we show patriotism and love for our nation by praying for our leaders; for their wisdom, integrity, and their personal salvation through Jesus.

Praying for our leaders frees up our hearts to express our gratitude to God for the opportunity to live in the best country in the world! Thanking Him for the freedoms we enjoy and fight to preserve. Praying for the Holy Spirit to bring revival in the USA, so that once again, we are living in a truer alignment with His Word.

God bless America. Happy birthday USA!

Lisa Strnad is a weekly contributing writer/blogger to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly. She has been a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville,TN. Follow her personal blog posts on Talking Like A Girl.

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