One of my favorite parts of being a father is tucking the kids in for bed. It's time for hugs, kisses, and bedtime prayers for protection from nightmares and things that go "bump" in the night. It's also when I occasionally have very significant conversations.
The other night, we had one of those. There's an African American boy who lives on our street that's about John's age who likes to come over and play with my kids. Since we have been living in Iowa and small-town Illinois the last several years, our kids haven't not experienced much ethnic diversity. Out of the blue Sara asked me about Jaden:
Sara: "Daddy, is Jaden from Mexico?"
Me: "No, Sara, Jaden is an African American."
Sara: "What's that Daddy?"
Me: "Well, a long time ago, some of the people in our country bought and sold people like Jaden as slaves from Africa."
Sara (completely wide-eyed): "Didn't they know that was wrong, Daddy?"
Me: "Well, some people did. But there were still a lot of people who did it, so a lot of people thought it was okay. You know, sometimes, when a lot of people around you are doing something, it seems alright. But we have to look at what God's Word says and do that, even if everybody except us says it's okay to do the wrong thing, right Sara?"
Sara: "Right, Daddy."
After that, I reinforced the point by telling the story of Daniel's three friends and how they stood against the will of their king. Sara really got into it, especially the part where they all say, "Our God is able to save us. But even if he does not, O king, this we know: we will not bow down and worship the idol you have set up."
It was a great moment to be a dad. I'm grateful to God for giving it to me.