Raise A Real Superhero – Take the Ultimate Superhero Challenge!
As a few friends recently gathered around my table for some morning “mom” time, we began sharing stories about what was happening in our children’s lives. One concern we all shared – regardless of whether our kids were toddlers or teens – was just how impressionable our kids are and how easily they are influenced by the people and messages around them!
Proverbs 4:23 teaches:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
As parents, we know it’s our job to protect our kids from the ungodly influences in the world around them until they are old enough, mature enough, and wise enough to do this on their own. We must remain vigilant for things that look good on the outside but on the inside are poisonous to their souls.
An example of something that seems good at first glance but requires further examination is the superhero trend that has taken our country by storm. Once relegated primarily to the niche market of comic books and adolescent fan boys, these larger-than-life superheroes have now leapt onto the big screen, into our living rooms, and invaded our daily lives! They’ve taken over the television networks. They vie for our children’s attention online and through video games. They even beckon our kids to dress up like them and bring their on-screen characters to life!
It’s easy to see why our kids find the concept of superheroes so appealing. Who wouldn’t? In a world that seems so chaotic – where bad things happen to good people and we’re powerless to stop them – the idea that there’s a superhero waiting in the wings to protect them is comforting. Even more attractive is the notion that ordinary people can develop superhuman powers and protect themselves, offering hope to the lonely, the disenfranchised, and the lost.
But, as discerning parents, we need to ask, do we really want to affirm these superheroes as role models for our kids? Do we really want them to exhibit the attitudes, values, and behaviors that superheroes display in their daily lives?
Psychologist Sharon Lamb, PhD, a distinguished professor of mental health at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, doesn’t think so! In her speech at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Lamb said:
There is a big difference in the movie superhero of today and the comic book superhero of yesterday. Today’s superhero is too much like an action hero who participates in non-stop violence; he’s aggressive, sarcastic and rarely speaks to the virtue of doing good for humanity. When not in superhero costume, these men, like Ironman, exploit women, flaunt bling and convey their manhood with high-powered guns.
In the violent, misogynistic world of today’s superheroes, God is also nowhere to be found. Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before me”, but in the realm of the superheroes, they are the gods. Contemporary superheroes are powerful vigilantes who use their special abilities to decide what’s right and wrong – who lives and who dies. They’re dangerous not only because they promote violence and other works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), but also because they turn our kid’s hearts and minds away from God.
From the world’s perspective, allowing our kids to engage with modern-day superheroes is merely an entertaining pastime, but 2 Corinthians 11:14 warns us that:
Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
Godly role models play an integral part in our child’s spiritual development. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says:
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
One of our top priorities should be to help our kids discover true heroes they can look up to – people of integrity whose values are worth emulating. Let’s introduce our kids to real superheroes who clearly demonstrate the fruit of the spirit in their lives!
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23
One invaluable resource that teaches our kids what being a real superhero is all about is the NIrV Super Heroes Holy Bible! This highly engaging Bible introduces kids to the incredible world of giants and giant-slayers, kings and commanders, miracles and mysteries by inviting them to team up with the Bible’s mightiest heroes in battle.
They’ll grow more discerning as they meet over 100 men, women, and children from the Bible through detailed profiles that show them what they should and shouldn’t do if they want to become a hero of the faith. I particularly recommend this book for homeschooling families and for parents who are looking for opportunities to engage with their kids!
The Ultimate Superhero Challenge
Just for fun, I’ve created the Ultimate Superhero Challenge! According to the NIrV Super Heroes Holy Bible, an Ultimate Superhero exemplifies these qualities in their lives:
- Being loving
- Telling Others
- Trying Hard
Invite your kids to complete these life-changing challenges (and join them in the challenge just for fun!)
- Challenge 1: Each week, pick a Superhero quality and find as many Bible verses as you can that exemplifies that quality.
- Challenge 2: Memorize one of the Superhero verses you selected each week. This will be your “power” verse to recall and apply during times when your superhero faith is put to the test!
- Challenge 3: Find a Superhero of the faith that exemplifies the Superhero quality you are studying. Make a list of the lessons that you are learning from their lives. How can you apply what you’ve learned when you are in a similar situation?
By sharing these challenges with our kids, our families can learn how to become superheroes of the faith who live victorious spiritual lives!
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What Superhero qualities do you currently possess? Which Superhero qualities do you need to cultivate? Who is your favorite Superhero in the Bible? Please share your thoughts with us on the blog!