I was recently inspired to write a little book for children using superheroes to teach Christian character. (See below for a sample of Captain America teaching “Courage”.) The inspiration came after spending countless hours with my (then) 3-year old son, pretending to be superheroes, all the while wondering how to raise him to know Jesus.
Upon researching the myriad of superhero characters available as instructors for my children, I discovered the vast universe of superhero fandom. Something deep within the soul of humanity is stirred by the superhero.
I also realized that most of their stories follow ours, the corporate story of mankind: Character X is a nobody but longs to be a somebody. Character X is bitten/stung/falls into/injected with a serum that morphs Character X into a super-human with supernatural abilities. In essence, Character X is born-again and becomes a new creation. Character X can then be the person that he always wanted to be. Character X is kind and brave. Character X helps save the world.
The book I wrote is founded on the belief that if we are to truly exemplify the traits of a superhero, we must have a relationship with a supernatural God, a God who changes our hearts and gives us His superhuman ability to be what a superhero is meant to be. It cannot happen from the outside in. We must take the serum and be changed from the inside out.
The content that I included in the book is not meant to be a set of lessons intended to make our children try harder or to do more, rather an invitation to discover that they already are more. We have the Spirit of the Almighty within us. We can make an impact. We are the superheroes.
It may be a small, seemingly insignificant devotional for kids, but I believe with all my heart that if our children grasp the true potential they have as vessels of the living God, there is no reason to expect anything less than supernatural results!
I wanted to share a sample of the book with you here, in hopes that your children will be blessed by it!
“We stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.” -Captain America
We should always do what’s right.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” -2 Timothy 1:7
What do you know about Captain America?
He always stands up for what is right. Even though he knows that it could be scary and he might get hurt, he still chooses to do the right thing. This is called courage. Courage does not mean that you never feel fear. Courage means that even though you feel fear, you still do what you know is right.
Captain America in Action:
One time, the villain, Loki came into a city and was scaring all the people. He made all the people bow down to him. One old man in the crowd stood up to Loki and said that he would not bow down to someone like him. Loki did not like that, so he shot a blue powerball at him. It almost hit the man, but Captain America was very courageous and jumped in front of the man. He protected the man with his shield.
Captain America and his friends gave Loki a chance to surrender, but Loki did not want to stop. So Captain America threw his shield at Loki’s weapon. He knocked it out of Loki’s hand so that he could not hurt anyone else. Loki began to fight back, but Captain America and his friends would not allow Loki to hurt other people. Finally Loki put his hands up in surrender.*
God wants you to have courage and stand up for what is right.
You might see someone being teased on the playground. You can stand up for that kid and tell the others not to tease. That is courage.
Or your friends might want you to do something that you know is wrong. You can show courage and stand up for what is right.
- Think of a time when it might be scary to do what is right?
- If you show courage and do what is right, what might happen? If you don’t?
Captain America had great courage. He stood up for what’s right. He protected people who needed his help. Look for ways you can stand up for what’s right today too!
Related Bible Story: David and Goliath
(1 Samuel 17)
David was a young boy from Israel. The Israelites had some big enemies called the Philistines. One of the Philistine soldiers was a giant named Goliath. Everyday Goliath would come out and make fun of the Israelites and of their God.
When David heard what Goliath was saying, he knew that he had to do something. He volunteered to fight Goliath. He took only his sling and 5 small stones and went out to meet the giant. He had courage because he knew that God was with him.
Goliath laughed at him and called him a dog with a stick, but David did not run away. He put one stone in his sling, swung it around and let it fly. The stone hit Goliath right in the forehead and he fell down dead! All the Israelites cheered! God helped David to defeat Goliath!
Activities to Reinforce the Lesson:
*Act out a scene for your child using toys or puppets in which one of the characters stands up for what’s right. Example: One character threatens to not play with the other if he doesn’t make fun of someone/take a forbidden cookie/disobey the teacher, etc.
*Commend your child when you see him showing courage and doing what’s right, especially if the child knows there will be painful consequences. Example: Child knows draws on the wall. He knows that you will be upset but instead of lying about it, he tells you the truth.
*Introduce your child to situations that might be a little scary for her but that you believe she is able to do. Don’t push it, but encourage your child to try. If she’s not ready, wait until she is. Tell your child she is courageous regardless of the outcome. This calls out the truth about who she is and helps her to see herself in that light.
*Make a point to really celebrate your child’s victories of courage. Give him a courage sticker or brag about him to another family member while he’s present.
*Model courage to your child. Stand up for what is right. Your child will inevitably see you and follow your lead.
Father God, thank-you for giving me a spirit of POWER! Please help me to know what is right and to stand up for it. When I show courage, it makes you smile.
Father God, thank-you for making us courageous by your Spirit. Please show me areas where I am still afraid and help me to see whatever scares me through Your eyes. You made me brave. Help me to live in that truth. Help my child to stand up for what’s right, regardless of the outcome.
*All images, superhero names and stories in this post belong to marvel, marvel.com, marvelkids.com, dc comics, dccomics.com, and dckids.com. Images and names are used under the Free Use Act that allows for educational purposes. This post/book is not to be reproduced for profit or commercial means.