We have recently moved into a new home, which is why you’ve heard a bit less from me than normal. That being said, each of our kids were given a small budget from which they could draw to “decorate” and refurnish their new bedrooms. Our youngest son went with a Star Wars theme because… he’s six and light sabers. To complete the ensemble of the Star Wars sheets and Star Wars comforter and hanging light sabers, we also put a sticker above his bed that says “The Force is strong with this one.”
Our first night in our home, I hung the sticker above his bed, he shouted with glee and then.. redemption happened. Now, I’m not sure what the writers of the Star Wars series intended the “Force” to be (some analogous spiritual thing devoid of religious affiliation but representing good and evil that could be tapped into by humanity and alien species perhaps?) but in the Embree household, that’s not what the Force is.
Me – Did you see the sign over your bed? What do you think “the Force” is?
C – I dunno. Like the power to do stuff.
Me – Good and bad stuff?
C – Good stuff.
Me – Hmm, who helps us do good stuff?
C – Oh.. God. God helps us to do good stuff.
Me – Does He have power?
C – Yes, even more power than anyone.
Me – So what do you think your sign means?
C – That God is with me!
Me – Even more than that, God is STRONG with you. He fights for you. He give you power to love others and to love Him. He is all the power you will ever need.
C – Whoa!
Me – Right? And you know what, that sign is right. The Force is strong with you. God is always with you. All the time. Every day. And you have that power to do good.
C – Awesome!
To redeem. To “change for the better”. To “get or win back.”
Author N. T. Wright in his book Surprised by Hope says, “people who believe in the resurrection, in God making a whole new world in which everything will be set right at last, are unstoppably motivated to work for that new world in the present.”
In other words, we are about the act of redemption.
We are practicing resurrection every day in the world around us.
We are taking everyday things and making them holy by intentionally and consistently inviting Christ into that space.
And this is huge for children. They are surrounded by stories of good and evil and we, as believers, are engaged in the ultimate battle of good and evil. Kids are constantly faced with intentional messages that seek to form and frame their worldview while we have the ultimate truth to offer them. So why not beat the world at its own game and redeem the space by practicing redemption?
Here are some ways we can redeem the time and space in our home.
- Watch movies as a family and use them as a framework to discuss a range of spiritual concepts and theological perspectives (See more on how to have your own Family Movie Night discipleship times here).
- Read stories and look for spiritual overtones or biblical heroes you can introduce while reading. Superhero books for kids have so many themes that mirror the Bible and, as your kids grow, dystopian novels and fantasy books allow for all kinds of exploratory and meaningful conversations. Let them explore all those questions with you!
- Invite Christ into everyday moments, intentionally, not as an afterthought. Look for ways to incorporate Christ into your rhythms, your meal times, your car rides, your routines. Lots of ideas can be found here BUT the bigger thing is simply this: Be aware and intentional, looking for opportunities to redeem the time or situation.
- Serve Christ and others together. Find ways to put into practice what you say you believe and how you say you should live. Don’t let Sunday be the only time they see and hear you talk about Jesus or read the Bible or pray. Redeem the time by making space for the living out of your faith and invite them into the journey.
The past week each time I’ve put my son to bed, do you know what he says? “Mommy, God is strong with me.” Oh yes, yes He is, my dear son!
And if from this point forward every time he watches a Star Wars movie or hears the words, “The Force is strong with this one”, he thinks that thought, even if only silently, deep in his heart, then redemption has been realized and resurrection has been practiced.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and church planter at Plowshares BIC. With years of experience in family ministry and children’s ministry, she is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed