Sunday, May 11, 2008

monsters for children

one of the most provocative things len sweet has said to me is that we rob our children of monsters.

the natural reaction of most parents is to protect our children from anything scary; but, according to len, whenever we remove anything scary we also remove any opportunity for heroism, bravery, courage, or nobility.

that's not to say that we should scare the crap out of kids for jesus, just that we too often take it to the other extreme and try and insulate them from any emotion other than snuggly-kootchie.

taking his advice, i've begun reading more broadly to jake at night. we used to just read thomas or bob the builder, but now we read the spiderwick chronicles. for many parents this is WAAAAYY too much for a young guy to handle, but jake and i take our time and talk through all the bothersome bits.

as a result, he has the best theology: jesus keeps the monsters away

monsters (and evil) exist
and the threat of their presence is real
but great still than any monster (or any evil) is the real presence of jesus christ living in our hearts

how cool is that?

my kid lives from the center of christus victor (if only it were as easy for his old man)

it's cool, too, that it has changed our reading of the scriptures.

we used to read the kids' bibles you can get at your local christian bookseller.

now we're reading an illustrated copy of the message. it's the actual message text (for adults), but illustrated with cool pics for little dudes.

what's fascinating is how differently we read scripture now. the actual biblical text is so much more raw and scary than the kids' bibles (take, for example, the story of can guess how different that is) that i don't think jake could've coped with it apart from our prep with spiderwick.


spiderwick as a pre-scriptural primer.

who'd've thunk it!

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