Before we were born, God lovingly envisioned us in His mind’s eye. He created us for a purpose. He crafted special plans for each of our lives (Jeremiah 1:5, 29:11; Ephesians 2:10).
Although we live in a broken world that constantly tempts us to forget who we are, to set aside our spiritual gifts, and to put our needs ahead of others, God continuously presents us with opportunities to rise above the fray.
The Lord calls each of us, no matter what our age, to be heroic for Him in our daily lives, just as He called the biblical super heroes of old.
Here’s a great question for our kids: Have you ever felt the desire to act differently, to behave better, or to become a bigger person in a challenging situation than you would normally be inclined to be?
We can share with our kids that whenever we feel called to become more courageous, more altruistic, and more loving than we feel is humanly possible, we hear God whispering in our ears, tugging at our heartstrings, inviting us to become more and more like Jesus.
We live in a world where people often disappoint us, but in God’s Kingdom, love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8). That’s the standard that God sets for us – the standard our families should aspire to live by.
We are to aim high, go for the gold, and live out Jesus’ commandment:
Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:12-13
Recently, I came across a few photos of my friend’s precious son on Instagram. In these photos, her little one was dressed like the Flash – an ordinary guy who becomes imbued with extraordinary speed during a dark matter explosion and uses his newfound superpowers to help others fight evil.
At three, my friend’s son is too young to realize it, but his desire to become a superhero that fights the powers of darkness – to align with good and not evil – reflects the very heart of God.
As this young boy grows, I pray that he becomes a powerful superhero of the faith who embodies this transformational biblical superhero secret:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
The Bible is filled with examples of ordinary people whose names and stories we know because they placed their faith in God in the midst of challenging circumstances, obediently following His instructions and allowing His Holy Spirit to work, even when human logic told them a desirable outcome was simply not possible!
The story of David (who was a teenager) and Goliath (1 Samuel 17) provides us a perfect example of how God can work in the midst of impossible situations when we place our trust in Him. David is a young shepherd boy who literally went into battle against Goliath, a Philistine giant of mythic proportions, and won! While Saul and his experienced armies quaked with fear at the prospect of fighting the giant, David bravely went face to face with Goliath, armed only with his slingshot and the secret superpower that made him invincible: faith that God was on his side!
David’s incredible faith is evident in his declaration to Goliath:
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands… and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give all of you into our hands.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-47
Hebrews 11, the biblical “Hall of Faith”, also contains an impressive list of men and women from the Old Testament (some named, some anonymous) who lived lives filled with difficult challenges, strained relationships, and uncertain futures. In spite of their circumstances, however, they always believed God when He revealed Himself to them and gave them directives. Although they did not fully understand what God was revealing to them or why He was directing them to do certain things, they obeyed God when He spoke, and He rewarded them by performing miracles in their midst. Whenever I need a fresh infusion of courage, I turn to the stories of these godly super heroes for encouragement and so can our kids!
Every day, as we listen to the news and hear what is happening in our communities, our country, and the world around us, it’s apparent that we need to raise godly sons and daughters who reflect the qualities, mindset, and heart of the superheroes we admire in the Bible. How do we go about doing that?
Recently, I came across The Super Heroes Storybook Bible – an action-packed children’s NIrV Bible that’s filled with more than forty stories about some of the most beloved and courageous characters from the Bible! The illustrations are eye-catching and the features are nifty, but what really caught my eye is the “Super Hero Decoder” feature of the book!
Imagine presenting your child with a special Bible that identifies 19 characteristics and qualities that they need to cultivate to become an Ultimate Super Hero for God – traits like faithfulness, honesty, patience, and self-control – and helping them to discover how those traits helped them to find their place in God’s eternal story. The Flash might be entertaining, but helping our kids aspire to be Super Heroes for God has everlasting impact and eternal value!
What do you believe are the most important qualities a hero should possess? Who is your favorite hero or heroine in the Bible? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments!