USA (MNN) — Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death has ignited a political firestorm. Everybody seems to be weighing in, in such a way that it nearly obscures his dignity and his legacy on the bench.
Keys For Kids Executive Director Greg Yoder reminds us that the Supreme Court justice wasn’t about his beliefs. “Many of the decisions that he made on the bench were based on Judeo-Christian values, and we’re so grateful for that.”
Because he was seen as a champion for the conservative, Republicans hoped to find a suitable like-minded replacement. Any nominee put forth by President Obama will be seen as swinging the ideological majority on the court. Meanwhile, the President shot back, condemning the notion of leaving the Supreme Court short-handed.
It’s a noisy squabble, but what it reveals is that leaders who have integrity, good character, and a moral compass are not in plentiful supply. Still, says Yoder, ”God has appointed everyone in leadership to be in authority over us. He is the one that controls that, and so we have to rest on that. But secondly, I think we also have to be reminded of the fact that we need to be raising our kids with a foundation, because they are our future leaders.”
The distinguishing characteristic is not just their position, but their worldview. They make decisions based on that worldview…so what makes up that worldview?
The challenge of helping humans develop high moral character has perplexed philosophers, psychologists, and theologians for centuries. Yoder explains that’s why it’s so important for parents to get involved early in teaching their kids God’s Word. “They’re our future presidents, they’re our future congressmen and senators and even local representatives. If we can hide God’s Word in their heart, we know that their worldview is one that is going to be godly and one that is going to really help propel us in a direction, maybe, that could inspire revival in our nation.”
In fact, Barna Group research shows that children are the most important population segment to reach because of their spiritual openness. The research suggested that a child’s moral development is set by the age of nine, while churches have traditionally focused on older children. Says Barna, “Anyone who wishes to have significant influence on the development of a person’s moral and spiritual foundations had better exert that influence while the person is still open-minded and impressionable–in other words, while the person is still young.”
What he was describing became the 4/14 Window and the basis for child evangelism movements. Yoder clarifies, “When you hide God’s Word in your heart as a young person, according to Barna, 60%-65% of us, as Christians, give our hearts to Christ between our fourth and our fourteenth birthday.” In the average Christian family, that’s the responsibility of the parents, asserts Yoder. “Sometimes we just get so reliant upon the church to do the biblical teaching, that we just abdicate that to somebody else to do. We can’t do that anymore.”
Daily habits start with discipline.
Devotionals, published by Keys For Kids, are a great resource that can be shared in the family. It’s a win/win situation. Yoder says, “We really need to be thinking about this worldview culture and how small this world is, and how we can actually reach the world with the Gospel through these stories, and again, provide that foundation—that hiding God’s Word in the hearts of young people. So as they do become leaders in the world, they have something to remember and have a basis on which they make decisions.”