Being a Superhero

Both of our boys, by the time they were around 3-4 years old, were enthralled with superheroes.  This caught us a little off-guard with Elijah, since he always talked about Spider-Man, even though he had never seen the TV show or movie.  I believe that there is something innate in children (especially boys) that makes them want to do awesome things, to solve problems, to be a hero. 

Elijah still is captivated by adventure and heroes.  I've shared before how he loves adventure books (Chronicles of Narnia, King Arthur, etc).  And we need to remember to remind him that Jesus is our ultimate Superhero, who came to rescue us from our biggest problem in life -- our own sin.  Also, he has loved The Action Bible that we bought him for Christmas.  (If you have an elementary-age boy in your life, I would highly recommend this Bible storybook.)

Now, Sender has taken this superhero concept to a whole other level.  Not just satisfied with being a hero with a limited number of abilities, he has decided that he is a Transformer who can turn himself into any Superhero.  Brilliant idea, huh?

While this is OK in the world of pretend, I think that we all like the idea of being a Superhero, and especially the idea of having all kinds of special powers and talents.  The problem with this is that it shows how much we want to do everything ourselves.  Instead of being independent, we need to be interdependent.  God has surely given us specific gifts to bless others, but He has likewise given others gifts they can use to bless us.

Even more, we need to realize that we need to be dependent on the power of the Spirit, instead of being self-sufficient.  Yeah, that's a hard one for me, so let's go back to talking about our kids.

Do you have a child who wants to be a superhero?  That is a great thing!  We should encourage them to do so, as long as it's for the right reasons and in the right ways.  A real hero . . .
  • Uses the gifts that he's been given.  You never saw Spider-Man try to take on Superman's X-ray vision. 
  • Uses his gifts in order to benefit others, not himself.
  • Doesn't seek his own glory.  He just wants to help others.
  • Owns up to responsibility when things don't go well.
  • Works as a team.  I loved the Justice League.  Even Batman had Robin, and Alfred.

image courtesy of dandeluca via flickr
We can help our kids learn about being a hero by pointing out the heroes all around us in "real-life."  For example, one time when we saw a police officer pull someone over.  I asked them why the officer did that, what he was trying to accomplish.  They said that the police try to catch people who do bad things.  But I corrected them; this isn't the main goal for the police force.  Police officers' goal isn't to get people in trouble; it's to keep people safe.  They try to help the community, and while sometimes this involves removing and giving consequences to people who are a danger to others, that's just one subset of their job. 

Talk to your kids about your heroes.  Who did you look up to when you were their age?  Who do you look up to now?  Why?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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