Mold your kid into a patriot: 7 flag-waving ways to teach children a love for American history

Shape your kid into a patriot: 6 flag-waving ways to teach children a love for American historyMark Twain may have said it best: Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

That’s a good approach just about any day, but especially during polarized times such as these. After all, very few of us are happy with the way things are going in Washington, D.C., no matter your party. And even if you are among the few who are pleased with Congress and the president, just give it a few years. Things will change. That’s the nature of politics; it’s cyclical.

There’s a lot I’d change about D.C. and the country, but I still love America and the ideals for which it stands. That’s the way my wife and I are raising our kids. We don’t worship America but we do believe the U.S. is immensely blessed — and we want our kids to appreciate that.

Here are seven ways we’ve taught our kids about the United States and its history that might benefit your family, too:

1. Tell them about America’s triumphs. Teach them about the freedoms the Founders established that were uniquely American at the time – freedom of the press and religion. Talk about the great inventors: Samuel Morse (telegraph), Alexander Graham Bell (telephone), Thomas Edison (phonograph, motion picture camera, electric light bulb), the Wright Brothers (airplane). Discuss the role America played in World War I and II, and the way it won the space race and put the first man on the moon, and even won that 1980 Miracle on Ice.

2. Tell them about America’s flaws. Otherwise, their perspective of the United States will be skewed, even unbiblical. No country is perfect. We’re still a nation, for instance, that enslaved an entire race and that waited nearly 150 years to give women the right to vote. Then tell them how the Founders, through the Constitution, laid the groundwork to right the nation’s wrongs, and how no country – no matter how dominant – can thrive continuously without God’s blessings (Daniel 2:21, Psalm 22:28).
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Take your child to a cemetery? Of course you should … and often (and here’s 4 reasons why)

4 Entirely Normal Reasons You Should Take You Child To A Cemetery ... OftenI’m not sure at what point during our courtship my wife and knew we were headed for marriage, but it may have been around the time we realized we shared an odd interest: We each enjoyed visiting cemeteries.

After we married and before we had children, we visited the graves of nearly 10 presidents – sort of normal, I suppose — but we also walked through the old historic cemetery in the city and just about any small graveyard we stumbled upon.

It’s a fun and quirky habit I’ve maintained with my oldest son, who is 6, and one that I plan on continuing with his two younger siblings. Each time, we have a blast.

Perhaps you are confused as to why any parent would willingly take his or her child to a cemetery, over and over. Here are four reasons I do it, and you should, too:
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5 reasons why fatherhood is far better than football

5 reasons why fatherhood is far better than footballI remember my first big-time football game as if it were yesterday. I was 13, sitting beside my dad and a friend in a huge stadium.

The game, though, didn’t go as I had hoped, and a loss seemed certain — when something amazing happened. With only four seconds left, my team’s kicker booted a 51-yard field goal that tied it up, and we all went wild. It was a college game and there was no overtime back then, but we rode home feeling as if our team had won the Super Bowl.

I also remember the birth of my first child as if it were yesterday. I was 36, standing in the delivery room with the doctor and nurses all around, minutes after midnight. Then something amazing happened. I heard a tiny, helpless, sweet cry, followed by a booming voice from the doctor: “It’s a boy!”

They placed my son under the warmer and I saw him up close for the very first time. He was full of life, looking all around, squirming from head to toe. It was the most precious sight I had ever seen.

My wife and I drove home two days later, feeling as if we’d won, well, the Super Bowl.

Those few seconds
when I enter the house and
my three kids go wild as they
hug my leg are better than any
balloon drop at a political rally.
To them, I might as well be president.

I’ve been to quite a few football games in my life while spending far more money than I care to acknowledge, and I can say without hesitation: Fatherhood is infinitely better than football. This should be obvious, of course, but we do live in a day where too many of us men are making a life out of our hobbies, extending our teen years into our 30s. 

As we approach Father’s Day, consider these five reasons why fatherhood is better than football — or any hobby, for that matter. Continue reading

3 great resources to teach your children theology

3 great resources to teach your children theology When it comes to asking tough and sometimes comical theological questions, nothing comes close to an inquisitive child.

I should know. My oldest son, who is 6, currently is the reigning world champion in the “asking tough questions” competition, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Take a recent dinner table discussion, for instance. His cup had pictures of superheroes, and he asked with a serious look on his face: Does God hate the Incredible Hulk? (No, I told him, God loves all people, and besides, the Incredible Hulk isn’t real, anyway, and just because the Incredible Hulk has a mean look on that cup doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.)

Then there’s the constant question he asks when we discuss heaven: Will his favorite stuffed animal – the one he sleeps with every night — be in heaven? The problem: If I say “no,” heaven isn’t looking so grand to him. He once cried when I told him “no.” (My latest stab at that for him was more of a non-answer. I asked with a smile, “Do you want him to be in heaven?” He said “yes,” and we moved on. I do tell him that I believe dinosaurs will be in heaven – which excites him.)

Children’s storybook Bibles are plentiful, but children’s theology books? Not so much. I have found two that I really like, although I am certain there are others out there. Know of others? Let me know in the comments section.

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