A Deeper Understanding

Last week in church the pastor gave an illustration in which he mentioned the number of American lives lost during various wars in our history.  My son looked over at me and asked why he was talking about American soldiers getting killed.

This led to a discussion later in the week in which it was brought to my attention that my son was under the impression that good guys don’t die in war.   It was a sobering discussion I had with my four year old that afternoon that went something like this...

Son:  Mom, why did the good guys die?  I thought they killed the bad guys.

Me:  Well, sometimes they do, but sometimes the bad guys kill them first.  The bad guys are trying to get them just like they are trying to get the bad guys.

Son:  But Mom, they have camouflage so the bad guys can’t see them

Me:  True, and that helps a lot, but sometimes the good guys still get hurt.  That’s why they are heroes…not just because they hurt the bad guys, but because by doing so they are risking their own lives.  That is part of war…good guys and bad guys die.

Son:  But Uncle Jim didn’t die.

Me:  Yes, and we are so thankful for that, but that is why we were praying for Uncle Jim when he was at war, because we wanted God to protect him.

Son:  But Uncle Jim isn’t at war right now…he’s training right now to be a captain.

Much later that night when we were saying our bedtime prayers my son prayed, “please keep Uncle Jim safe.”

I found this whole incident to be quite sobering.  We have stressed over and over through the years that soldiers, and policemen, and firemen are true heroes and deserve honor and our gratitude.  I guess though we never stressed why they are heroes.  And in the sweet innocence of childhood, my son assumed that only bad guys get hurt.  Yet we live in a world where that is not the case.

And as this truth sunk in to my little boy, his response was to pray for the Lord to protect his dear Uncle Jim who serves as a soldier in our U.S. Army.  uncle jim

This served as a good reminder to me to continue to life up our soldiers in prayer.  While Uncle Jim is home in Texas right now, we are praying for our cousin Joel who is at war fighting for our freedom.  We are proud to have both soldiers as part of our family, modeling heroism for our children.


  1. Wow! That is a sobering discussion. Your little one is a thinker. I appreciate the care in which you explained things to him. I'll be praying with your two family members who are serving as well.

    And I just love that patch on his Uncle's shoulder.....Screaming Eagles ROCK!!!

  2. It's hard to know how to explain to our children/grandchildren how and why our heroes/military/police/fireman are so often called to give their lives for others. Why when we pray for their safety they still can get injured or killed. It is even hard for us adults to understand. Bless all of you all who teach these lessons and may our Lord give you the words to help them/us understand that in this fallen world this happens. We are called to serve our Lord and to trust Him to use our lives to His glory. God bless the children as they learn these lessons.
    Your blog entry brought tears to my eyes as I read of our grandson's questions and prayer of faith as he struggles to understand these truths.
    Yes, I also pray the God protects our service men and women as they go into harms way. May their faith sustain them in the hard times as well as the good.
    Thank you, his dear, Uncle Jim and cousin Joel as you serves as soldiers in our U.S. Army.

  3. I love how you explained it to him. (love the photo!)
    Praying for all of our men and women in the military......

  4. Yes, you do have a wonderful way of teaching your children things so that it's on their level, but without taking away from the truth. And that is an adorable picture! What a nice tribute to your family members and to all those serving our country.

  5. What's up with this comment moderation thing? Doesn't your blog know who I am by now?????

  6. awww..... man. i'm not sure what to say except that your son has a really big heart. i'm going to make sure jim reads this. man, i can't wait to see you all and give that little guy a squeeze!


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