Q What can I do to minimize or prevent family discord in the wake of the divisive U.S. election? Some members of my close family are Republican; others are Democrat.

A There are some values shared by Christians that transcend the conflicting political worldviews held by citizens of various countries. There are also God-mandated ways Christians are to show love to brothers and sisters—by blood or shared faith—as well as to our enemies.

Christians are called to unity and to peace. We’re called to walk in “the truth,” which promises to set us free from hate, condemnation, hopelessness, and fear. And Christians are mandated to treat all people with kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience, and forgiveness. At the very least, when entering a political discussion, that means we must be civil. Being civil, even when we are passionate, precludes name-calling or demonizing or bullying or intimidating or threatening.

In the end, as far as it depends on you (as Scripture exhorts), live in peace. Resolve to bring a kingdom perspective to family gatherings and so experience the power that transcends any political or national interest. Jesus ushered in a kingdom of peace—the lion and the lamb—and healing for the nations (the tree of life in Rev. 22). Choose to walk away from a political discussion that has veered into incivility, even if you also have strong opinions that are worth expressing. 

About the Author

Judy Cook is a family therapist and a member of Meadowlands Fellowship CRC in Ancaster, Ontario.