"Therefore, since we are encompassed with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).
My grandson screeches around the room, his dark blue cape flying like a flag behind him.
"Quick," he says in a flutter of little feet and hands, "on the couch."
Because of course everyone knows that it takes a couch to make one safe from the wicked beings invading our world.
"Get your feet out of the water!"
We scrunch together, our knees folded to our chests, and wait until the unseen evil passes. He pauses long enough for me to capture his little being and squeeze. No time to waste, he wiggles free from my arms and is off again, playing out images in his head only he can see.
If real superpowers looked so cute, bad people would all want to be good.
Thousands of years ago, did little Israelite children play Moses and Aaron against a bad Pharaoh at the Red Sea? Did they run through imaginary walls of churning water? Perhaps Gideon's grandchildren fought pretend wars with wicked Midian. I wonder how many generations reenacted David's slingshot victory over giant Goliath?
Heroes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Last week I attended a memorial service for a 95-year-old veteran of missions. In 1956, Frank Drown led a ground search party into the jungles of Ecuador to locate five missionaries slain by the Waodani people. What he found would remain in his mind, a picture of cruelty but much more a portrayal of the faithful obedience of a group of men willing to die for Jesus.
Kids need heroes with wrinkles.
They need visuals of people who have loved Jesus long and hard.
3 Ways to Provide Kids With Godly Heroes
- Find godly golden-aged role models.
In today's family anemia, it's difficult to find healthy relationships running from one generation to another. Family ties are often messy and missing. Search intentional relationships with older believers. Develop in your children respect and listening skills by spending time with story tellers of past times and adventures.
- Read stories of heroes of the faith.
Missionary stories are a great way to introduce children to a world of imagination and deep devotion. Biographies and biblical stories provide examples of courageous men and women, people brave enough to lay down their lives for others.
- Act out true stories.
Like my grandson, children love to pretend. Acting involves more than hearing and seeing, it takes participation. Children like to act out real-life stories. Give them inspiring ones with people of character.
Those of us on the other bookend of life can direct children toward true heroicism. We are able to point them to a great cloud of biblical people of faith. We can tell them of others, heroes lined with wrinkles, who have followed God well. Examples from past generations help our children run with endurance now.
As I fly around the house with my little superhero, I am grateful for superpowers. I am thankful there are men and women who have lived lives not in their own power, but in the power of Christ, faithfully serving others.
My grandson and I zoom past a mirror. Our images blaze by on a mission to save the world. One of us wears a cape; the other wears wrinkles.
Sylvia Schroeder serves as women's care coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.
This article originally appeared at just18summers.com.
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