“You be the bad guy and I’ll be the good guy.”
Have you heard your children say this or something similar? It doesn’t take long for very young children to begin to distinguish between good and bad behavior.
This is not a current phenomena. In fact, in the very the beginning, in the Garden of Eden, mankind made a choice that determined that every human since faces a choice. Each of us must choose to behave in a way that pleases our Heavenly Father, or make the choice to go our own way.
Every era and culture in recorded history has it’s heroes. As one who teaches art, I’ve taught about many of these heroes from the past immortalized in great works of art. The Sphinx, the Greek sculpture called the Discus Thrower, Michelangelo’s David, and the sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial are just a few of countless heroes depicted.
Children love to hear stories of heroes triumphing over evil. All of our grandsons have been taken with Robin Hood at one time or another, even though it is challenging as parents to celebrate Robin’s stealing, even if he did give to the poor. In fact, most all heroes have “feet of clay”, even those in the Bible.
Our granddaughters played princess and there was an evil stepmother or mean fairy princess. Yet, do not despair! There was always a knight or prince to rescue the damsel in distress, even if he was burned by a dragon.
Children love the story of David and Goliath, yet David and Bathsheba is a difficult story for adults to process, much less children.
There are fallen heroes brought to light regularly in our current culture. Sometimes these fallen heroes are individuals our children have looked up to and they may be deeply wounded by their transgressions, even to the point of feeling betrayed.
It is important that we start early teaching our children that the only person to ever live on this earth who was perfect is Jesus. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Jesus did not sin because He is God. We want our children to look up to worthy individuals as role models. At the same time, we must help them keep their “heroes” in perspective.
1 Peter 5:8-10 (NLT)
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.
The BAD GUY is the devil. These verses say he is like a roaring lion. Lions roar to proclaim their territory. The analogy may then be drawn that the devil is prowing around, seeking those who he may claim and then devour.
It is a battle. There is a real enemy and he is the bad guy.
Verse 9 is our battle plan:
* Stand firm
* Be strong in the faith
* Remember you are not in this battle alone
God’s promise is that He will RESTORE, SUPPORT, STRENGTHEN, and PLACE YOU ON A FIRM FOUNDATION.
We can be heroes of the faith and we must encourage our children to be heroes of the faith as well.
Super Heroes of the Kingdom! Won’t that bless God?