By Julianna Duerksen
For the past six months, my husband and I have been on a D-Day kick. We’ve watched documentaries, read first-hand accounts, and listened to countless podcasts interviewing the men who landed on the beaches. The men are as varied as the stories they tell — some were clueless, having no idea where they were or what was going on the entire time. Others, in equally disjointing circumstances, rose to the occasion as leaders and heroes. Some are gentlemen, others crass, as only the army can make one. Some were believers, many definitely were not.
But throughout the various accounts of crisis and heroism, one theme clearly emerges. Each hero of that “greatest generation” understood the cost of freedom. And they were more than willing to pay for it. These were men who didn’t wait to get drafted. They were the first to enlist (even if that took some finagling with age or weight to get in!). They grew up in an age in America when duty to God, family, and country was deeply impressed upon them.
Two generations later, we’ve grown lax. As a society, we nod to their sacrifice on Veteran’s Day while forgetting that freedom requires sacrifice of every generation. It’s not a once and done deal.
Instilling a value for this hard-won freedom in our children is foundational to what the Colorado Homeschool Freedom Team is all about. We’re not here to preserve your freedom for you — for freedom requires a movement, not a few individuals to maintain — but to come alongside you as you teach your children about the cost of liberty.
Here are a few practical suggestions to pass on a love for freedom in your daily family life:
1. Talk about current events together … with hope.
In a world that seems messed up beyond repair, it’s easy for us as adults to either ignore what’s going on and never discuss it (because, I get it, it’s just discouraging) or frequently discuss politics in a sarcastic, hopeless manner. Neither of these is a biblical, God-honoring response.
Instead, do talk about current events as a family! But let’s check our own hearts first as we interact with the news before discussing it with our children. No matter how hopeless the state of our country may appear, we know we have a sovereign God who works all things for good for His children. This Gospel hope gives us the confidence to not only trust Him when it comes to the news, but also to faithfully act to make a difference right where He’s placed us.
Growing up, I distinctly remember sitting in on a discussion with a homeschool family we knew in another state. They had twelve children, and one of their oldest sons had recently been elected county commissioner, having won the seat while he was still in college against a long-time incumbent. (You can read the full story in the introduction of my book, Colorado Civics.) Around the dinner table, Bibles pulled out, the family was engaged in a lively discussion about the biblical way to approach an issue their county-commissioner son had run up against. For all his younger siblings, this was a front row seat on what it looks like to represent Christ by standing strong for freedom in local politics.
One great place to start as a family is to find a biblical, family-friendly news source to watch/read together. (I hear World Watch News and World Magazine have some great kid-friendly news subscriptions). Or, like my parents did, simply read a trustworthy news source yourself and then bring up a recent event to discuss during mealtimes.
2. Pray for freedom as a family.
We’re actually commanded to do this in 1 Timothy 2:1–2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way (ESV).
One practical way to pray for our country as a family is to sign up for Carolyn’s prayer emails. These are a great resource to stay-up-to date on how you can be praying for our officials and the fight to maintain homeschool freedom and parental rights here in Colorado.
3. In your homeschool, study civics.
As dysfunctional as our government may seem today, its basic structure still displays Judeo-Christian principles that are both brilliant and fascinating to study. As you learn about our founders, the Constitution, and our country’s traditions steeped in the sacrifices of freedom-loving heroes of the past, you and your children will be inspired to take action. If you’re looking to learn civics from a Constitutionally-faithful, Christian perspective, definitely check out my book Colorado Civics. Its unit study-style format is perfect for learning together as an entire family.
4. Attend homeschool freedom events together.
As I mentioned, the Colorado Homeschool Freedom Team is not a couple of individuals working for you so much as it’s a team you’re a part of to fight for freedom here in Colorado. In other words, your family — whether you’re young parents with littles or empty nesters or anything in between — is essential in this battle. Yours and your children’s religious liberty and parental rights are at stake. Please prioritize attending Homeschool Day at the Capitol and Meet Your Legislator Day each year — I know it’s not fun navigating downtown Denver, but hey, at least it’s not Normandy Beach. 🙂
If you haven’t signed up to join the Colorado Homeschool Freedom Team, make sure to do so right away! On the sign-up form, you can choose what areas you’d like to be involved — whether it be through donating, prayer, volunteering, interning (deadline to apply is 8/25/23), and more.
Someday, when our great-grandchildren are old (and listening to podcasts about early 21st century history 🙂), we want them to remember with gratitude the sacrifices we made so they could be free. As John Adams pleaded, “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”