Take time to remember
Take time to remember
Point out veterans’ licence plates and discuss the role of those who keep our country and community safe.
Discussion point: We need to show courage and protect others too.
As you are driving, have your children watch for the honorary veteran’s licence plates (most have a red poppy on them). These licence plates are issued in all provinces, with the exception of Nunavut.
A gentle way to introduce the idea of military conflict – if you choose to discuss it – is to explain that, just as the police force protects your community, the military protects the country you live in. Police officers risk their lives for the safety of the communities they serve and soldiers risk their lives serving in our country’s armed forces.
Explain that these men and women are following Jesus’ example, because they are willing to “lay down their lives” in order to preserve someone else’s life. Each time you find a veteran’s license plate, take a minute to thank God for their willingness to serve our country and ask that God protect and give strength and courage to all of our police officers and military personnel.
Traditionally, we take time to honour war veterans on Remembrance Day each year, but you can talk to your children about the bravery and courage of soldiers at any time. To discover ways your family can honour war veterans, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website at Veterans.gc.ca.
Questions for discussion
- What do you admire most about the men and women who protect our community and our country?
- When might you need to have courage like a soldier’s?
- What does it mean to “stand up for what is right”?
- Have you ever needed to do this?
- Can you think of any other ways that God would want you to share His love with others?
Police officers, soldiers and other military personnel risk their lives to protect Canada’s citizens. We may never have to put our lives in danger, but we can stand up for what we believe is right in different ways. A child can stand up for what is right by speaking up when others are being unkind to other people, or to animals. For example, if someone you are playing with suggests that you exclude another child from your play group, you can say, “Let’s remember to be kind, and let him/her play too.” If you see another child hurting an animal or insect, simply say, “You are so much bigger and stronger than ________ (the animal or insect); it isn't fair to hurt it.”
Another way we can “lay down our lives” in a smaller but significant way is through giving up personal comforts and treats in order to have extra money to give to those who are in need.
Just as God helps those who protect our country to be brave, He can help us have courage to stand up for what is right as well.
Note: It can be challenging to teach your children to intervene in a bullying situation because children often fear that they will become the bully’s next target if they speak up. As a parent, you can encourage a timid child to intervene by enlisting a friend to take a stand with them. When peers speak up to defend a child being bullied, it does make a difference! When peers intervene, most bullying incidents dissipate very rapidly. Let your kids know that although it can be hard to defend another child, the end result makes everyone safer in the long term.
“Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever disowns Me before men, I will disown him before My Father in heaven.”
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”
1 John 3:16-18
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”