But what do our actions say?
On April 1st, 1933, shortly after coming to power in Germany, the Nazis held a boycott of all Jewish businesses. It was the first small step in many persecutions to come. But too many mothers and fathers who had talked to their kids about doing the right thing, thinking for themselves, simply went along with it.
Not everyone, of course. Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s 99 year old grandmother, for instance. On that day, she was out shopping and she refused to be told whose businesses she could support. As the author Eric Metaxas writes,
When the SA men tried to restrain her from entering one store, she informed them that she would shop where she liked and did so. Later that day she did the same at the famous Kaufhaus des Westens, the world’s largest department store, ignoring the silly kickline of SA men stationed in front. The story of Julie Bonhoeffer marching past Nazi gorillas was a favorite in the Bonhoeffer family, who saw in her an embodiment of the values they sought to live by.
That embodiment wasn’t lost on Dietrich, who ten years later would lose his life plotting to assassinate Hitler. Even though he was a pastor, even though he had plenty of opportunities to escape Germany and live in peace and freedom in London or America, he stayed. His grandmother’s example guided him, showed him how to live by his values.
Let the same be true for you and your children, whatever the future holds, big or small.