My boys and I have a bedtime routine of reading the Bible not unlike any other parents I'm sure. I especially enjoy our Bible, the Action Bible, the boys received from their grandparents. It's written in a graphic novel style like a comic book complete with Bible characters drawn with superhero characteristics.
We've already read it all the way through together and we are on our way through a second time. When we started it for the second time I wondered whether the boys would be bored the second time through or if they'd even be able to get anything new out of a second reading right away.
Nothing to worry about. My boys are always picking up the Bible on their own to thumb through it. Last night we were reading, again, the story of Samson the strong man in the Bible found in the book of Judges.
In the Action Bible Samson is of course depicted as almost superhuman, well he kinda was, with huge muscles and a pretty attractive personality to two little boys who are obsessed with Xmen and Avenger superheros. Samson is an easy guy to idolize! He had superhuman strength, slaughtered 1000 men with the jawbone of a donkey, wrestled a lion barehanded and destroyed a pagan temple. Wow! Pretty cool guy!
But really when you read the whole story of Samson he was kind of a jerk! He defied the wishes of his parents by marrying a Philistine woman, gambled at his wedding and killed a dozen men, out of anger, to pay his debt and set a field of grain on fire during a temper tantrum. Samson may have been strong but he sure wasn't perfect!
I think Samson is a perfect character to teach kids about role models and serving God. First, just because someone looks perfect doesn't mean they are. The same can be said for people in our society; teachers, celebrities, friends and parents. It's important to get to know the real person before you attach a heroic persona to them. Second, just because God has given you a job to do doesn't mean you won't make mistakes carrying out His wishes. Do the best you can anyway and ask for forgiveness along the way.
Nobody's perfect and it's nice to be reminded that God even uses the imperfect, like you and me, to do His will!
Dear God, Thanks for making me. Thanks for overlooking my imperfections. Thanks for giving me a purpose for You despite my mistakes. Amen!