Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Passion Of Our Christ

We introduced our youngest son when he was thirteen to the movie The Passion Of The Christ. My husband and I had discussed it several weeks prior and had decided he was old enough and mature enough to handle the graphic nature of its content. We prepared him for it about two or three weeks before showing the movie, occasionally bringing up that we felt he was old enough to understand and appreciate its message, and that it would be a good way to celebrate the true meaning of Easter.

My husband and I and our oldest son, when he was nineteen, saw the movie together when it came out in theater. Our daughter saw it on DVD the Easter after she turned thirteen. My youngest probably felt this was something of a rite of passage for him, but my husband and I saw it as much more. This was an opportunity for us to make Christ’s death on the cross a more tangible reality, and hopefully deepen our son’s trust and love for his Father and Savior.

Before starting the movie my husband spent time discussing with our son what he could expect to see, that our watching it on Thursday evening probably coincided with the timeframe of the events in the movie, and that the depiction of Jesus’ beatings were probably pretty accurate and truthfully highlighted how He took the punishment we deserve. I inserted my motherly advice, saying it was appropriate and perfectly normal to be emotionally affected by the scenes, sharing that I, his dad, his brother and pretty much everyone else in the theater was either crying or too stunned to move from their seats when the movie finished.

Our son handled it very well. He was quite quiet and detached for a little while afterwards. My husband asked him if the movie helped him better understand just how much Jesus sacrificed for our benefit. Quietly nodding his head, he said, “Most definitely.” He began asking questions, and my husband spent time gently answering them.

The Passion Of The Christ is a good tool to use for sharing the Easter story with teenagers (definitely not anyone younger than thirteen), but only if they are mature enough to handle the message and its graphic portrayal, and only with the loving presence of you there to discuss the meaning of the message and its application in our lives. I would suggest using the same kind of preparatory approach we used, priming your child for what to expect and assuring him you think he’s ready to handle it. If there’s any indication that he’s reluctant or skittish, I’d postpone it for another time, probably in a year. In addition, I’d advise to watch the movie early enough in the day or evening to allow time to decompress from the emotional intensity created by it.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” May the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior be not lost on us as we celebrate the most holy of holy days of our Christian faith. I pray you have a blessed Easter!

No comments: