Why We Need to Honor our Historical Heroes

History repeats itself, but in such cunning disguise that we never detect the resemblance until the damage is done.

Sydney J. Harris

Education About our Heroes is Key

When I was in elementary school, we talked about the founding of our nation, our great presidents and leaders, and their character and devotion to liberty. I read and soaked up every biography I could get my hands on. It was important to know about the people that were responsible for building this country. My grandparents’ teachers took it a step further. They memorized speeches and poetry about our nation. My grandmother could quote many of these even just before her death at the age of 85.

You might say, “big deal! What does that matter?”

We are so Forgetful

The big deal is that if we don’t know where we came from we will tend to forget the good and repeat the bad. I’ve been studying the festivals of the Israelites. Erin Davis says in her book, 7 Feasts, “we all have spiritual amnesia, but there is a cure” (Psalm 103:2) I guess it has to do with the carnality of man. We just tend to digress instead of improving and learning from the mistakes of the past (our own and our ancestors).

Thomas Jefferson implied in the Preamble of our Constitution, that there was work to be done. That indeed, still here in 2021, we must work “to create a more perfect union”, always improving. Looking at where we came from and determining that we will not return there. We must do better. But we cannot do better if we are constantly wiping out and erasing the areas that need improvement.

Learning from our Past

In ancient times, empires would blot out anything bad that happened. (This is why there is no record of the Hebrews being in slavery in Egypt. It ended up bad for them; so it was blotted out of the history books). Our culture has been consistently working since the 1960s to blot out of our history books anything they don’t like. To the point that we aren’t really getting much history at all.

It is important for us to look at our past, the good and the bad. Then celebrate what we did right and learn from what was done wrong. Where wrongs were made, we remember to not do that again. We won’t remember in the future if we tear down statues and rename streets and buildings. We must leave them as a reminder. And when we see these statues we tell our children about the mistakes and how were are trying to not repeat them ever again. If we don’t teach our children they won’t even understand enough to tell their children.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

― Ronald Reagan

Inspired by a book!

  • The above is inspired by Eric Metaxas’ If You Can Keep It. A must-read for all Americans. It should be required reading for studying the beginning of our Nation. You know George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. But how many of these people are you familiar with? George Whitefield, Alexis de Toqueville, Benjamin Franklin, Nathan Hale, Paul Revere, Cincinnatus, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, William Wilberforce, Squanto, Joshua Dewey. There’s more, but you can learn about all of these in this little book about our republic. You do know that we are a republic, not a democracy, right? Eric also has several biographies on these great heroes.

Teach Your Children Well

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,

Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,

And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.

Psalm 78, NKJV

The Psalmist instructed us to teach our children even the dark things in our history. To tell our children the good and the bad. He was speaking of how the Israelites rebelled many times against the Word of God, but God forgave them and blessed them. This isn’t to imply that we teach our children they can do whatever they want and God will overlook it. No, God allowed them to suffer because of their wrongs, and then He drew them back to the fold of righteousness. This is what we should not forget.

Too many of us have let this all fall into the schools’ responsibilities. This we cannot do. We must teach our children at home as well. I don’t necessarily mean you should homeschool (though I am an advocate). I mean the important things should not be left to the schools. Teach your children to be patriotic (love their country) and to have good character. The schools will expose them to their literature. We should be reading biographies and historical lessons at home and discussing them around the dinner table. Teach your children to think things through and not just believe what they are taught. The Bible even warns us to test our pastors to make sure what they preach is biblical. (I fear most of us don’t go home and “fact check” our pastors.)

Get Involved in What Your Children Are Learning

We can’t leave the education of our children to the schools alone. We must get involved. Here’s a thought, read your child’s required reading along with them and discuss them. Family time can be learning time, too. Be more selective in what movies you watch as a family and the books you read together. There is a lot of educational help online. I once received a weekly email with a story from history to read and discuss. Homeschool websites are available even if you don’t homeschool. Homefires offers a monthly page of videos and books to use that correlate with each day in history.

You can stear them into developing discernment and creating their own beliefs and attitudes. When my children were young, we enjoyed reading about heroes. Even adult books can be read together in small snippets which children can understand when you are reading together.

A few useful books

The below are books part of a series of biographies called The Sowers Series

Other Heroes I have written about

This blog carries many stories of heroes of faith, especially women.

Susanna Wesley

Elizabeth Elliot

Honey for a Child’s Heart includes an extensive bibliography of books listed by age and ability

legacy link-ups

It’s Your Turn

Are you writing about heroes? They can be from the past, your family, the Bible. We want to read what your have written. Link-up with us for the Month of June.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

11 thoughts on “Why We Need to Honor our Historical Heroes

  1. Bettie G says:

    Thank you for sharing these great resources, Mandy! We used a lot of the same books when we homeschooled, but it is so easy to even forget those, 15 years later now. I’m passing on your article here to my daughter who is beginning her homeschooling journey with her son now. May we keep reminding the generations that follow us of the great strength and faithfulness of our God. Blessings to you dear friend.

  2. Being Woven says:

    Thank you for recommending this book. It is now on my TBR list! I love history. Just like so much of our history, let alone the world’s, we have only touched the surface. I am learning this weekend about the Tulsa Massacre. Never knew anything about that. My, oh my!! 100 years ago and I am 73…just learning/hearing about it. Glad we are neighbors at a link up.

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      You will love this book. Eric has several great biographies if you aren’t familiar with him. I had never heard of the Tulsa Massacre either. What a terribly sad event. I pray that we can find our way beyond the hatred. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Katie R. Dale says:

    I’ll make note of this book. I just bought a handful of books by Erwin Lutzer, David Bartin and George Barna on our nation’s Christian heritage and am using them to research for a book I plan to write. This was a great reference and I will try to check it out! Thanks for your post. I found you on the grace and truth link up.

    Have a great day!

  4. Dee | Grammy's Grid says:

    The victors always write the history books. Our own American history is full of corruption and lies. I wish it weren’t true 🙁 Some of the world views us Americans as bad people when in reality it’s the government not the individual citizens who are bad. Thanks so much for linking up with me at A Themed Linkup 62 for All Things American and Patriotic. Pinned!

    • Mandy Farmer says:

      It’s true, sad to say. Because man is not basically good. I’ll be adding some more thoughts next week about loving God and Country. We must be aware of our faults and work to correct them; however, focus on all the good that has been done. And you are right America has many good people. The politicians get a bit power hungry, don’t they

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