President Roosevelt

Did you know that Theodore Roosevelt taught Sunday School classes?

One Sunday, one of his students came to class with a black eye. He confessed that he had been fighting—and even worse, on a Sunday! Roosevelt asked the boy what happened and the boy explained that a bigger, older boy had been pinching his sister, so he stood up for her—and ended up with a black eye.

Roosevelt told the boy that he had done well defending her and gave the boy a dollar. The Sunday School superintendent thought this was inappropriate, so they relieved the future president of his Sunday School teaching duties.

I certainly want our kids to learn to solve problems with their words more than their fists. (“A soft answer turns away wrath” Proverbs 15:1)

I want them to be willing to turn the other cheek when they are insulted or abused (“If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39)

But I also want our kids to know Psalm 82:3: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” (Psalm 82:3-4).

It’s not wrong to defend the defenseless. It’s exactly what God himself has done.