Angels Are NOT Wimpy

image courtesy of Temari09 vis flickr
One of my biggest pet peeves about Christmas is the depiction of sweet, gentle, and (usually) feminine angels.  Actually this can apply year-round, especially in children's Bibles and ministries.  But it's especially this time of the year, as we teach about an angel visiting Mary, and a group of angels singing to the shepherds in the field, that I think about how angels are usually taught to kids.

Without going into deep theology of angels, here's a brief Biblical overview of angels, just from off the top of my head and from things I've read recently (it helps that I've been reading through the book of Revelation lately):

  • There are two angels mentioned by name in the Bible -- Michael and Gabriel.  Also include Satan/Lucifer if you want.  Always male.
  • The appearance of angels always seem to cause people to react in fear.
  • Probably my favorite account of an angel, one such messenger struggled with the Prince of Persia (Satan or one of his angels, I think) for three weeks (Daniel 10).
  • Even Mary reacted in a way that Gabriel told her, "Do not fear."  (Luke 1:29-30).
  • Angels will be involved in judgment (Matthew 13:39; Revelation 16:1).
  • Jesus and His army of angels will fight and defeat Satan ("the dragon") and his angels (Revelation 12:7).  How cool is that?!
  • They will speak with authority and power over the fall of Babylon (Revelation 18:1-3, 21-24).

When we have kids do Christmas plays, I want boys to be angels.  I want them to be tough looking, and with swords in their hands.  I want kids, and adults, to hear the word "angel" and have a sense of awe and fear, instead of "Awwww, how sweet."

That's my pet peeve.  Have you ever thought about how angels are depicted to kids?  Or, do you have any pet peeves about how the church teaches kids about Christmas?


  1. Hannah and I had a discussion about if angels were male or female a couple of weeks ago as we were setting up the nativity in her 3 yr old class!

  2. Agree, agree, agree! I am always trying to set this little misconception straight, but I have to admit, I did have girl angels in the Christmas play this year. We had one guard angel (boy) at the manger itself. He had a sword and shield and was told to make sure no one shady got to the baby Jesus. We wanted to get a flaming sword, but seemed a bit dangerous, so we went with a glowing Jedi sword. :)

    Lindsey @