I am a history buff, so loving and teaching history come naturally to me. It's not school; it's fun. I hope I am making it second nature to my children, as well. Not because I need them to be like me, but because knowing our roots is so important as Christians, as Americans, and as families. It gives us a big-picture perspective, which I think is sorely lacking in so many today. Our world is too small; our focus is very narrow.
I want to broaden it for my children, and I want them to be able to look back and see how history relates to them.
As Christians, it is important to know where the world came from, Who governs it, and Who created us. Reading the Bible reminds us of God's power and sovereignty, and how He keeps His promises. It's the first history book. And it's full of some amazing stories!
In our home, the big kids read the Bible through in a year (chronologically), and memorize the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The little kids listen to Mom read from The Children's Story Bible by Catherine Vos and memorize an easy children's version of the Catechism. At Christmas and Easter, we take special time to read and discuss God's gift of a Savior.
As Americans, it's important to know how and why we came to be Americans. Knowing why the Puritans and the Pilgrims braved everything to sail here, why the colonists chose to resist the king, and what was behind the Constitution give us the inspiration to preserve what we have today.
In our home, we read about the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving in November. We read about Columbus in October. The Declaration of Independence and the Revolution are hot topics in July. Our form of government is always brought up in the light of current events. And we always tie this in with God's design for America and how "God governs in the affairs of man."
As Texans (and I apologize and sympathize with those of you who aren't) we relish the story of Texas' War for Independence from Mexico. If you don't know it, by golly, you're missin' out!
The story of Colonel Travis and the defenders of the Alamo, Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, the mothers and wives, oh! I could go on! It makes one proud to be a Texan!
And if you visit the Alamo in person, you'll get chills. I promise.
We recently enjoyed the book A Time to Stand, which details the Texas Revolution. Reading that book just before our visit to the Alamo made it so real.
In our home, we remember Texas Independence Day in March. We visit museums every chance we get. And if I ever see a Texas Historical Marker on the side of the road, we stop and read it.
As families, it's important to know about our ancestors and their relation to our faith and local history. Knowing the grandparents, great-grandparents, and beyond, knowing where and how they lived, and knowing what part they played in our history gives us roots and tall shoulders to stand on.