With the movie Heaven is for Real coming out this week, I’ve gotten questions on whether I think this book and movie is worth seeing and reading and if it is true. This is the best thing I’ve found on it.
I love movies. As a family, it is the same. Every week, we have family movie night. The child who had their daddy date that week gets to pick family movie night. This past week, we watched The Rise of the Guardians.
If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a quick synopsis:
When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.
One of the ways that we’ve learned to communicate the gospel to our kids is through cultural pieces like movies and stories. Every movie and story mirrors the story of God.
In the rise of the guardians, the character pitch was thrown out of the guardians. He came back to take over, to fight them. Pitch, played the character of Satan and evil. At one point, the character of Sandman was killed. At the end of the movie, Sandman rose from the dead, and defeated Pitch when it looked hopeless for the other guardians. Sandman, in that way, was similar to Jesus.
After watching the movie, over dinner we asked our kids and talked through:
- Who was Pitch like?
- Why was Pitch evil?
- What was Pitch trying to do to the kids in the movie?
- How does Satan tempt us to sin?
- Who was Sandman like?
- Did Jesus rise from the dead?
- Because Jesus rose from the dead, what does that mean for us?
- Can we conquer sin and death the way they did in the movie?
Communicating the gospel to your kids through movies and stories takes time and practice, but it isn’t as hard as you think. Every single kids movie from Pixar to anything else has this storyline. Just look and then talk about it with your kids. A great way to apply Deuteronomy 6.
I get asked by parents a lot how to make media choices with and for their kids. What shows should they watch, what music should they listen to. Here are some helpful questions for parents to ask taken from Give them Grace.
- Does this media outlet have any redeeming value to it? In other words, is there any way that we can use it to illustrate the one good story? Are the great themes of the gospel apparent (even though it may not be a “Christian” production)?
- Are our children unduly influenced by this movie or program? Do they mimic inappropriate words or phrases after spending time interacting with it?
- Are our children able to articulate what is lacking in this video or song? Do they see how it is contrary to the gospel? Are they able to tell you where they see the one good story in it?
- What is your child’s attitude when he’s denied access to this program? Has it become an idol in his heart, a god that promises him happiness?
- Is there any way that you can demonstrate a willingness to compromise with your child over this song? For instance, instead of saying no to an entire album, perhaps you could find a couple of songs on it that would be acceptable.
- Are you being ruled by fear of what might happen if your child watches or listens to this program or album? Or, are you able to think clearly about the influence the entertainment may or may not have over your child?
Whether married, single, divorced, thinking about getting married, or hoping we could find someone to marry, all of us can identify with the pictures above.
Everyone has an opinion about what marriage is and how areas like who does what, romance, roles, sexuality, and communication should work. We know what they are supposed to be, at least in our heads, but is that realitic or based on reality? Is what we see growing up, or the pieces we remember of our parents relationship, marriage? What about scenes from The Vow, The Notebook, Hallpass? Is that marriage?
We get the idea that marriage should be filled with endless romance between a couple that is committed to one other to the end. Or, the idea that marriage is about what you want, when you want it. Making the relationship consist of whatever you can receive with giving as little as possible.
If someone asked you the question, “What is the point of marriage?” do you know what you would say?