“What’s a Bible Belle?” Rooney asked.
“I’m not sure how you don’t know this, but superheroes aren’t real. They’re comic book characters. They’re all made up.”
* * *
When Superman first debuted in 1938, I doubt Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster could have predicted the massive industry that comics has become. Whether it is a costumed crime fighter or a character with superhuman powers, stories of superheroes have continued to captivate both children and adult audiences alike.
Today, superheroes are everywhere. Their films dominate the box office. Their merchandise monopolizes store shelves. They have even dethroned princess costumes as the most popular choices for dress up and imaginary play.
It’s easy to get caught up in what our culture has to offer, but have we placed a bit too much emphasis on fictional heroes and not enough on teaching our children to become real ones? Have we allowed our kids to spend a little too much time play fighting and not enough time preparing them for the real fight ahead?
Because here’s the thing: a battle is being fought every day out in the world and, as followers of Jesus, every one of us is called to be heroic for God’s kingdom.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
In the comic world, when a fictional superhero encounters a villain or some other challenge as part of the story, what approach does the hero take in order to combat the problem? Does he or she simply shrug and carry on with the lives of their alter egos? Or, in each scenario, do they strategize, fight courageously, and ultimately claim their victory?
It’s always the latter, and that’s exactly the kind of mentality we want to encourage our daughters to take as they prepare to own their unique role in God’s story and do the work He prepared in advance for them to do.
We need to show our daughters the weapons they possess, and we must teach them to wield them well.
Listen: It takes guts to be intentional about parenting, to identify areas that need to change and then actually make the changes. I’m in the trenches with you, and I give you all the credit in the world for wanting to raise kids who know what really matters and will actually go out into the world and do the hard things that need to get done. But I want to warn you right now: it is so easy to downplay the importance of this kind of leadership. To coast rather than commit to investing the time and resources it’s going to take to make this happen. Do not miss your opportunity to guide your daughter toward her unique brand of heroism.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart . . ”
God went to work when He created your daughter. He made her with special gifts, talents, and superhuman abilities. There is no one, and there will never be anyone, exactly like her. God made her special, and she needs to know and believe it if she is going to step in and fight for the things worth fighting for.
And, unlike fictional superheroes who spend a good amount of time hiding their true identities from the rest of the world, your daughter’s true identity is not to remain a secret. She is meant to be a hero in His eternal narrative and to live her story with boldness, with conviction, and with absolutely everything she’s got. As her parent, you get the privilege and opportunity to walk alongside her as she discovers how. Isn’t that amazing?
Challenge: Take a quick inventory. When was the last time you sat talked with your daughter about her life as it relates to God’s story? When you take a step back and observe her, are you doing so through the lens of her unique expression, her kingdom assignment? Do you consistently take time to help her know herself, and the God who made her, more deeply?
Only by seeking understanding of herself and her Creator will she become the hero she was created to be.
Solution: Start simple. Have a conversation with your daughter this week and tell her about her. What have you perceived as her parent that is showing you the person you believe she is becoming? What have you noticed about her personality, her attitude, her character, that you believe is setting the stage for the kingdom-minded young woman she will become?
Whether she’s five or fifteen, leading her to think more deeply about her God-breathed destiny will show her that, no matter how crazy, busy, or complicated life gets, you are committed to seeking God’s will for her life and finding ways to equip her for the battles she will face as she follows Him.
I’m excited to know what comes out of your conversation with your daughter this week. Be sure to let me know in the comments.
Have an amazing day!
If you’re looking for examples of female heroes who played a significant role in God’s story, you’ll want to check out our HEARD book series that highlights Hannah, Esther, Abigail, Ruth, and Deborah: five heroic women of Scripture.
If you’re looking for a positive role model who is inspiring women of all ages to be a hero in God’s story, check out our recent podcast interview with Lauren Green McAfee. A third-generation member of Hobby Lobby’s Green family, Lauren challenges women to live with their legacy in mind in a book she co-wrote with her mom, Jackie. Only One Life: How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy tells the stories of heroic, world-changing women, both past and present.