Raising Loving Leaders
Every day a new page of history is written.
Are we teaching our children how to ✅examine it, ✅respond to it, ✅be impacted by it, ✅lead others through it, ✅LEARN FROM IT?
2020 has been an unprecedented collection of new days of history. Are we engaging our children in the treasured task of being shaped by history and simultaneously shaping it? I want my kids to be leaders in tomorrow's pages of the past. If we want them to be effective, LOVING LEADERS, NOW is the time to take our role seriously.
We’ve all heard the quote by Winston Churchill saying, "Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it." I would suggest that when we hear that quote we often fail to pay attention to one key phrase, “LEARN FROM” – "Those that fail to LEARN FROM history, are doomed to repeat it.” Reading some facts in a textbook about a past event, cramming lots of those facts into our brain while we study for a test, and then quickly forgetting those facts, that is not LEARNING FROM history. That is more like window shopping through history – taking a shallow little scenic tour but not going in and
allowing it to impact our perspective,
shape our worldview,
affect our decision-making,
form our character,
and compel us to lead others toward truth and good deeds.
These are the things that I want history, including current history-in-the-making to accomplish for my kids. The better we and our children understand the "weak and strong actions, the foolish and wise decisions, and the helpful and harmful perspectives" in each of our society events, the better we will live out our own history, create our own legacy, and shape the world we pass on to others, because we have developed wisdom from our examination of those events. If we really want our kids to grow in their character and affect their decision-making by learning from history, we have to do more than window shop through the events of our day and of the past.
We adults need to do the hard work of opening the door of events with our children, go in and examine those events together -
*visit historical sites,
*listen to famous speeches,
*read diaries of the people who walked those miles.
*and above all, we must discuss what God was doing, what He was seeing, what He was allowing, and what lessons societies were learning during His-story, God’s story. These are the ways to LEARN FROM history with our children to raising wise, loving leaders.
Well, my friends, I tell you all that to explain why I brought a history guy onto the podcast this week. It’s because I believe that LEARNING FROM history with our children is an important part of intentional parenting to build strong kids who become strong leaders who shape history. At the end of this blog post, be sure to use the link to a FREE 90 Day Membership to the Notgrass History resources site!
Can we have a heart to heart right now?
In recent days, a series of tragic racial scenarios emerged in the news followed by peaceful protests and dangerous, destructive riots, yet the interview fits perfectly with this important time.
These current events, that have been heavy on all of us, are reshaping my heart and what conversations I am having with my kids in hopes that it shapes their hearts, in hopes that the world we hand off for our children to lead, will be a place that they’ve been equipped for the challenges at hand.
How do we do this?
We do this by teaching them
hope and empathy,
perseverance and sacrifice,
grace and truth,
and by discovering history with them - making space in our days for unpacking both current events and the historical events of the past, learning what insight God gives about these issues in the pages of the Bible, and by introducing them to great heroes and heroines of the past.
I want my kids to
💞lend a hand to the needy,
💞to speak up for the oppressed,
💞to embrace those who grew up differently from them or who look differently than them,
💞to recognize that those differences are the most beautiful aspects of us, collectively and individually.
💞to act out of compassion, honor, strength, dignity, and love
💞to lead others to do the same.
And, I want them to look at situations and events more analytically, dissecting the different parts of the event, being aware of philosophies that might be behind behaviors and decisions in current leaders.
Honestly, 2020 has been an insane level of current events to dissect. Am I right? What I'm asking parents to do, could sound overwhelming and super intimidating and that's what makes us shut down, throw up our hands, and rely on a history textbook alone to check "the history box" off of our child's life list. But I'm asking you to please not do that. Don't step away because it's something you feel unprepared to face.
That's not the kind of parents we are in the Intentional Mom, Strong Family community. We are sacrificial, loving parents who are willing to do what is best for our kids rather than what is easy. And that's what I'm asking you to do - to do what's best for your kids, by facing these giants of current events square-on. Embrace them as opportunities to shape our child's heart and mind to equip them for leadership in their future communities and to discover what role God would have them play in the shaping of His-story.
You say, "But I don't know how. I don't understand all the things that are going on right now myself." Well, don't let that stop you. See this is a motivator to
1. Create space and time in your life for educating yourself from worthwhile, meaningful sources (which is not social media). Don't worry! I've got a list of great, simple resources to utilize with your family! The list is AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST.
2. Become a Social Studies Family. It's really about time, habits, and mindset.
Decide that this is worthy of taking up a box of time in your family's life, change some habits of what you listen to and watch and read and discuss together to make better use of your time on content that expands their hearts and minds toward wisdom and goodness and strength. (Refer to the end of this blog post for family resources!)
Now, regarding the current events - racial injustice that led to peaceful protests followed by dangerous riots...
One thing I continually strive to do with this ministry is SPEAK FROM MY HEART and tell you what God is showing me in my life. I believe this is an audience that is characterized by being able to hear things that may sting a bit, and still be able to continue the dialogue.
To be honest, what God's been showing me about me hasn't been entirely pleasant. Growth is like that, you know, it's not comfortable. God has had me uncomfortable. What He is revealing to me is that that I have been unknowingly callous to the pain and fear that some of my mom friends, mothers of color, experience daily, the fear and concerns that they wrestle with continually. I want to be more aware of this and be whatever God wants me to be with this. And so, this is what I was praying about when God gave me these words to share with you today, titled, "Be a Bridge" and is written below.
Hurting for my friends who live in fear for their children and husbands...
These are some of my many thoughts and feelings that have followed in subsequent days since watching a video of abuse of power.
We are a nation founded on innocence and justice, that sees every life as sacred and worthy of dignity. I've been spending all week prayerfully considering what my response should be to this tragedy. For years I have spoken up for the innocent unborn whose lives are unjustly taken and today I must speak up for this injustice as well. We must do better.
How can we change the narrative for the world we leave our children? How can we prepare our children to be leaders of love and truth amidst complex issues?
Here's the word phrase I keep thinking about - "Be a bridge."
I want to be a bridge that unites, that increases peace and honor and dignity. I want to be a bridge to truth and love. I'm not sure how to do it, but I will continue to pray for effective ways to increase our collective heart's desire to be a bridge.
▪Today I give honor to those whose lives are taken unjustly, both born and unborn. ▪Today I show my deep sorrow and disgust for mistreatment. ▪Today I stand up for my dear friends of color and let them know that in solidarity I mourn with you. Though I can't fully comprehend the fear you experience, today I am prayerfully seeking to be a bridge in how I raise my children and how I love my sisters and brothers in my community. *Today I pray for the safety of the sacrificial police officers of our nation who are equally disgusted by abuse of power and the ripple affects it causes in all directions. ▪Today I am speaking up to say: Let us decide now to do better. Let us Be a Bridge.
Note from Val on selecting Social Studies/History materials:
Social studies can be a tricky subject because most content has an agenda, a slant, a worldview. So, it is definitely a topic that I like to stay involved in and know what my kids are reading and learning about so we can have lots of healthy discussion. It is a powerful topic for impacting their character and decision-making, so I applaud you for reading this far into this blog post. While most of the resources I mention below are from a Biblical perspective, I try to find resources that are accurate historically. I also would recommend watching or reading some more secular news sources as well, to help you hear "both sides of the story" which can give you a broader base for communicating with others and for helping you know what other "angles" are out there. I didn't need to list any of those sources because they're mainstream and what most people are already listening to - you didn't need help finding those resources, they're all around us.
Resources for You and Your Family as you Become a Social Studies Family
Notgrass History, featured on today's podcast (Click here to listen to Episode #39 Raising Loving Leaders.) - our family has loved their history materials for years!
CLICK HERE FOR A FOR 90 Day FREE MEMBERSHIP by NOTGRASS HISTORY for the Practically Speaking MOM Listeners
Notgrass History is offering the Practically Speaking MOM community of listeners a 90-Day FREE Membership Resource - Notgrass History's latest tool for encouraging families to discover history together. This membership website - which includes an interactive US map that will show you all the great historical field trips to take in an area - is VERY AFFORDABLE all the time, but for you, my listening audience, it is FREE for 90 days! This is in addition to all of their fabulous history books and products!
Today's podcast guest, John Notgrass, is the executive director of a company that seeks to help kids understand the good and bad decisions of the past to help them make better decisions today. THANK YOU to Notgrass History for giving all of our listeners this 90 days FREE history membership! It's a great resource for our theme of raising well-informed, loving leaders.