So, here we are, Independence Day. After a super controversial week with a Supreme Court decision (Google it if you don’t know), we have still come to the Fourth of July, where we celebrate the land of the free.
Don’t think for one second that I am going to express my opinion on the decision made last week. My skin isn’t thick enough to handle that. If you don’t say pro-choice, you are anti-women’s rights; if you don’t say pro-life, you are a baby killer. Nope, I am not touching that at all.
But what I will discuss is the land of opinions – and how much we degrade each other if our opinions do not align – and how we can just cut off people because they believe something different than we do.
Look, I have two beautiful daughters who have very different opinions in life. Take last week at church for instance; Maylie wore a beautiful dress, heels and had me do her hair. Reagan, on the other hand, insisted on the shorts she wore to bed, a baby Yoda shirt, doing her hair herself and mismatched socks with sandals (because I at least made her wear some sort of shoes – trust me, she tried to escape the car without them).
Here I have two completely different baby girls who have no political or abortion opinions, but they do, in fact have opinions. Am I a bad mom for not sharing if I am pro-life and need to save my unborn grandbaby or if I am pro-choice and need to give my daughters the ability to make the decision over their body? Maybe.
But instead, I am going to choose to just be the mom who respects opinions.
Maylie was dressed to a T on Sunday. Quite honestly, Reagan looked like she wasn’t cared for. But do you know what didn’t happen on Sunday? Any sort of debate about who was dressed the best.
Not once did Maylie tell Reagan that she had it all wrong and needed to be more presentable. Not once did Reagan tell Maylie that she was over the top and needed to pull it back some.
Instead, my completely mismatched daughters both went into church and learned about Jesus — who, by the way, loved anyone and everyone who came to Him.
Oh, I know you can totally throw this back at me and tell me what Jesus’s opinion would be in the matter and how He would project it – teach about it – and how I am not doing justice by not. But instead, I am choosing to just completely take the route of the love that He portrayed.
What He didn’t do is judge everyone who came up with a different opinion. What He didn’t do is argue behind a keyboard about how right He was. What He didn’t do is call out all the others who simply did not believe in what He did and tell them to “unfriend” Him and get out of His life.
Instead, He loved them. All of them. What they had done in life, what they believed, where they came from – even where they were going next, He just loved.
And while, yes, I do see how the decision this week has caused a lot of people to feel many different emotions and act out because of them, regardless of where I feel in the matter, I cannot handle the lack of love for others, their views and opinions.
How can we take differences between us and completely annihilate any sort of common ground? Why are we so willing to let our opinions – that are different from others – tear us apart as people?
Look, I am not telling you to not have an opinion on the matter. Have that opinion and fight for it if you feel the need. But just because your neighbor has a different opinion does not mean that you just nix them off the grid. We are allowed to disagree with each other, respect others’ opinions and let them decide what they want to believe – and still love them!
I promise you that the judgment that you put on them does nothing for you – or them. And honestly, the only judgment that matters is the one you face with God Himself on judgment day.
So yes, have your opinions. We live in the land of the free where we can have them, and I will continue to raise my babies to form their own. But what I will also continue to do is provide my girls with the importance and ability to love unconditionally, even when someone does not agree them.
Because dressed up or hot mess at church, guess what? No one asked them to judge. They were simply told to love.
Sometimes a mama needs to remind her kids it’s OK to have different opinions, even in how they dress.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her daughters and writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.
Read More: Real Life Mama: The right to your opinion