Character is defined as:
the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves: someone’s personality
a set of qualities that are shared by many people in a group, country, etc.
a set of qualities that make a place or thing different from other places or thing
As the mother of two bi-racial sons, I cannot help but view the world through their eyes. They are still young and impressionable. They still see themselves as equals to their peers regardless of what the world might try to convince them of. Best of all they understand they are God’s creation.
As the mother of sons, I am passionate to raise them to be respectful of women. They need to understand their words and actions have consequences which could follow them their entire lives.
As a mother, I’m conscious of teaching my sons everyone has a voice and that all voices matter. I want my sons to know that although it’s ok to listen to every person, but that not every person’s opinion needs to carry the same weight in their decision-making processes. I want my sons to know they also have the choice to communicate respectfully. They have the option to apologize when they make a mistake, whether it’s accepted or not, it’s the right thing to do.
I want my sons to understand they will encounter people their whole lives that will think less of them because of their religious convictions or their skin color. I also want them to know that they don’t have to call those people friends. The example starts with me.
To those of you who have chosen your words cautiously in this political season, I wish to say thank you. Thank you for taking the time to explain your thinking and to ask questions out of a genuine desire to understand. Thank you for seeking peace first understanding that we can agree to disagree, without my view classifying me as stupid. Thank you for choosing to read my words without a critical tone when a question has been posed.
I know these past six months have left us all wounded. We all lost our cool at one time or another. We reacted out of wounds, out of fear, and out of sheer bewilderment that those we’ve loved could express such different opinions. Thank you for your apologies, for your forgiveness and for your friendship. Your character has confirmed what I’ve known all along, your friendship is a blessing to me. We will get through this season. With prayer and understanding, we can strive to come out stronger together.
Unfortunately, this gratitude doesn’t extend to everyone I’ve given the label friend. The past six months have left me wounded deeply. I have read your commentary about minorities and realized you will not fight for my son’s voice to be heard. Your posts tagging me in articles stating only “true Christians” will vote red have likely not had the impact you’ve desired. My relationship with Jesus is not determined by my voting record, regardless of the editorial you choose to attach my name to.
Where do we go from here? The answer is a hard but necessary one. We move forward separately, and with distance. Wonderful memories aren’t replaced by heartbreaking words. The difference now is that those convictions which you continue to stand by proudly reveal the depths of your character in present day. I accept you for who you are. I am not asking you to change. I am however saying your words will no longer be sought after by me, my heart cannot take the hatred anymore.
Since distance will be our new avenue, I think it’s important to extend an apology. I’m not naive to the fact that if I’ve been so deeply wounded by you, then it’s possible my words have hurt you as well. I’m so incredibly sorry for anything that has been stated intentionally or not. Moving forward with distance may seem disingenuine, but I promise you it isn’t. Sometimes relationships are only for a season. Our season has come to an end, my children deserve a mother who will fight for them as well as a community who sees them as equals. Your words have made your stance clear, and now I do the same.