Lesson from Toy Story 3: We Belong to God

It was just us boys all weekend, with Joanna in New York, and Hannah at my parents. Lots of eating out, tons of crude boy humor, and, on the last night, pizza and movie. (Do you know that you can get a free movie rental the first Monday of every month from Redbox?  Sometimes paying $1 to rent a movie is just too much.) 

I watched most of the movie with Sender in my lap and Elijah snuggled up or laying next to me on the couch. I have to confess that I got all choked up and just about bawled my eyes out at the end. The tears didn't flow (not hard, at least), but I barely got words out when the boys were talking to me. Without giving away too much of the story, it hit me that they will be leaving our home before we know it. I was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions, especially when Elijah and I had this brief dialogue when the movie was over:
Me:  "Elijah, I'm really going to miss you when you move out." 
Elijah:  "I'm going to miss you, too."

After the movie was over, I fixed them some ice cream and we got to talk about the movie some more. There were some concepts that I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss with them. 

One thing that really stood out to me was how Woody kept reminding his friends that they belong to someone, whereas Lotso believed it was better to not belong to any one kid, but instead to be enjoyed by many others. Elijah liked Lotso's idea, saying, "It's kinda' smart of him to think that." But I asked him to think about if that's how God treats us, and then I explained how Woody's thinking is better.

You see, I told him, we belong only to God, and that's a good thing. Satan wants us to believe that we can only be free and happy if we dissociate ourselves from God, and belong to many people or things. Satan wants me to "belong to" and seek happiness in my wife, my kids, money, job, hobbies, other relationships, my own talents, and so on. Those are good things for sure, but my hope and affirmation can only be met by the One that I truly belong to.

Then I asked the boys, "I said that we belong to God, but is that actually true?" "Yes," they replied. I challenged them, "But how do you know that we belong to God? What are some reasons that it's true?"
  1. Elijah immediately said that we belong to God because He made us. Great answer, as we learn in Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139:13-14.
  2. Elijah also said that He cares for us. Yes, Matthew 6:25-34 reminds us that God cares for us, much more than He cares for any other part of His creation.  He proves His faithful love by continually providing for us.
  3. I then asked Sender why he thinks that we belong to God. He said, "Because He died on the cross for our sins." Amen! We were bought with the price of the blood of God's Son!  (I Corinthians 6:19-20 and 7:23)
For all that will be hard about my children growing up and leaving the home, if I can help them cling to these truths -- that God is our Creator, Provider, and Savior, and that we belong to Him -- then I will be able to say (like Buzz Lightyear), "Mission accomplished." I want them to know that we belong to God, and Him alone, and true life and freedom can only be found through His Son Jesus Christ.


  1. Thanks Joey. Great application.

  2. Great post. I haven't seen the movie yet, but plan to soon. It's a little bit of a stretch but somewhat related, but have you every read the Children's Book "You are Special" by Max Lucado. It's kind of a similar sorry in the sense that there are toys and one toy in particular gets to meet the toymaker and realize how special he is. Again, I haven't seen Toy Story 3 yet, but it seems like reading this book could be a good companion/follow up to this movie. I'll have to write a review of it sometime on my Children's Ministry Blog.

    I was glad to find your blog! Keep it up!

  3. Thanks, Kenny. Yeah, I think I've read that book, but will need to check it out again.

  4. now i want to watch the movie again!