We rarely see movies in the theater.
It's simply too expensive when we can wait a few months for it to come out on redbox and watch it in our home for $1.
Friday evening, we made an exception and took the girls to see Disney-Pixar's newest movie, Brave.
It was a movie for the entire family, filled with awesomeness.
Let me just tell you, God will use any way necessary to speak truth into our lives…even through a child's movie.
I learned more about parenting from Brave than I have from the bookshelf full of parenting books.
Here are the lessons God revealed to me in the move theater:
(Spoiler alert!! If you haven't seen the movie, the rest of this post may give away some of the details!)
- Listen to your children. Seriously, put down the phone. Get off the internet. Look into their eyes and listen to what they are telling you. Don't hear what you want to hear. Open your ears and your heart. Even if you don't like what they are telling you. Make them feel safe and know they can share their heart with you no matter what. Let them know their opinions are valued and they are important.
- Meet your kids where they are. Despite popular belief, children are not miniature adults. They don't look like adults. They don't speak like adults. They don't think like adults. So they should not be expected to act like adults. Kids need time to be kids. They have the rest of their lives to live in the adult world, but only a few short years to be kids. Don't rob them of this life prematurely. Children need time to run, play, be silly and laugh, and guess what, so do adults. Parents, by having children you get to re-live your youth with them. So make a point today of dropping what you feel like you have to do and go outside and play with your children. The laundry will wait. However, the days of childhood are numbered.
- We can't plan our child's future for them. The person God has made our children to be might not be the person we would have them to be. The fact of the matter is our children belong to God. He has entrusted them to us for a short time, but they are His. He has created them with a unique set of characteristics to be the very best they can be, but that image may not be what we see when we envision their future. Every person has a purpose and a calling. As parents our job is to study our children, determine their strengths and their gifts and nurture their interests. Don't let your hopes for their futures cloud the vision God is growing in them.
- God makes all things new. When time is running out and you don't know which way to turn, God shows up and leads the way to our Prince of Peace. The movie makes no spiritual references, it actually has a bit of mysticism in it, but don't let that take away from the main point. When Merida and her mother are running out of time, little blue “whisps” show up and lead the way out of trouble. At the end the whisps all merge together and the image of the price appears. I just can't negate the spiritual implications in that scene. When we were in trouble with no way out, God sent us our Prince and granted us new life.
- It's never too late to be the parent your child needs you to be. Parenting is hard. There is no easy way out. It seems like just when we get one problem solved, another one creeps up. But our hard work is making a difference. The Bible tells us there may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning. That's a promise to live by. I mess up as a mother each day, but I ask for forgiveness from my children and from God and wake up the next morning to a new day, another chance to show my children the love of Christ, and I'm so thankful for those mercies.
- The most important lesson of all: Never, ever mess with a Mama Bear. The heart of a mother is a beautiful thing. She will go to the ends of the earth for her children one day just to get up the next and do it all over again. She will love and protect her children until her dying day and I'm quite confident this is how God designed it to be, but don't ever try to come between a Mama Bear and her cub.
Have you seen Brave yet? Did it have the same effect on you?
Dear Lord, please make me a brave parent. Let me not conform to the world's definition of parenting, but to be the parent you've created me to be. Help give me a servant's heart for my children. Show me how to nurture their talents to help them develop into the person you've created them to be. Please rid me of my ego so that I can show them how to put You first in every aspect of their lives. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Linking up at The Better Mom.