The Dark Side is Trending...
Are there any Star Wars fans around here?
I’ve always been a Star Wars fan, even before my boys were born. Thankfully my husband understands this, so when we went to see Rogue One with two of our kiddos, he was willing to leave when one of the boys just couldn’t handle the movie.
As my boys grew in interest and excitement about the Star Wars Saga, I started to notice something.
There’s not much merchandise for the Rebels….
Darth Vader, Storm Troopers, Death Troopers, light sabers (about the only semi-neutral object) but no rebel’s helmets, or gear. Other than droids.
At first, I was only minimally miffed, but then I even looked in the clothing department. The same was true there. The Dark Side was what was selling.
The same is true for Marvel, not so much in the merchandising, but in the characters their movies are focused on.
The more I looked around the more I saw the focus staying on the ‘bad guys. Making the bad guys awesome and enticing.
There is such a trend in taking things we once clearly saw as bad or good and making them all morally gray.
This is no attack on the storytelling and unique point of view they give, but what does it teach our kids?
It feeds a lie that is not good or bad. What is one person's left could be another person’s right? Because if everything becomes morally gray then there is no right or wrong, which leads us down the rabbit hole to the thought that we don’t need a savior.
Does this mean we’re never watching another Star Wars or Marvel movie ever again?
No, but it does mean we have to be more cautious with the movies we allow, and it usually means waiting to see the movie in the comforts of our own homes so we can pause and have a discussion if needs to be.
My teen often fights our decisions on pre-watching the movies, until last summer. When Doctor Strange: Multiverse Madness came out, my husband and I went to see it and determined it wasn’t a good fit for our kids. Then my teen was at camp for a week, and they were allowed to watch the Doctor Strange Movie, without my knowledge.
But you know what he said, ‘Mom, you were right. We shouldn’t have seen the movie.”
I am so thankful he came to an understanding that we are not trying to devoid him of fun, but trying to make wise decisions as to what goes in their mind.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
So, what do we do as parents in this dark world?
First- we need to know what the Truth is.
I know it sounds like a Sunday School answer but where do we find truth?
If you have a Christian worldview, the Bible needs to inform your beliefs, values, and behavior.
Which means knowing what it says and seeking to understand it more as you look at what's going on in our world. (Worldview Series- CityBridge Church)
I love this quote by C.S. Lewis, I believe in Christianity as I believe in the sun has risen: not only because I have seen it, but because by it I see everything else.
Second, we have to be willing and ready to have hard conversations with our kids.
But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. -1 Peter 3:15 (NET)
The world won't hesitate to inform your kids of its opinion, so the best offense is a good defense. It means talking about the issues of our world in an age-appropriate manner and showing our kids where God speaks to these issues in the Bible because He does.
When your kids come home from school with a statement that balks against what you believe, they will. The key is to not throw down an absolute. That is not what we believe Where did you hear those lies? Like it or not if we get emotional about a topic, kids are more likely to remember it whether it's good or bad.
But step in with calm questions.
Where did you hear that?
What do you think about that?
And then be willing to take it a step further and look into the statement and guide them in their discernment.
Check out this article on Discernment from earlier this year. (How to build discernment in our kids)
Third- we need to be aware of what our kids are watching and reading.
I'm not saying that nothing other than the Chosen and VeggieTales. But as your kids bring books or shows into your home. Sit with them, read with them, and if there needs to be discernment have a discussion. Not all secular shows, books, or YouTube channels are bad. But helping your kids navigate in a world that wants to hint at and pull their attention away from Biblical truth, we have to be a part of those interests.
Lastly- we need to include our kids in discussions about what we watch, do, and believe as a family.
We've had a few health scares around here in the last month or so. And with those came some physical restrictions. A friend and I had a laugh that when we're healthy we'd give anything for someone to tell us to relax and don't do anything, but if someone TELLS US to NOT DO something, everything in my mind says. "Don't tell me what to do."
Just me? I guess I'm still a kid in some respect. But I know if I tell my kids not to do something it is almost a guarantee that they will do it. (Strong-willed kids will be a blessing when they don't live in my home)
But if I include my kids in the discussion. Ask their thoughts and have them be a part of the problem-solving process, not only will they have skills to think through the situation as it relates to a Christian worldview, but it also takes away the power of the 'forbidden fruit'.
What steps are you taking to fight the Darkside?