Christian Families and Christian Fantasy
Christian Family Values and Christian Fantasy
How can the Christian family instill biblical Christian values in the lives of their children? I would contend that biblically rooted Christian fantasy can be a valuable asset in a thoughtful parent’s mind and heart forming repertory. Veggie Tales films are good Christian fantasy and the Miller Brothers’ Christian fantasy books are fabulous as well. There is really good Christian fantasy out there.
Granted, not all so called “Christian fantasy” is worth the time of day. In fact, not all Christian fantasy is Christian in a biblical sense. But again, biblically rooted Christian fantasy is of value to the whole family. As I have voiced in previous blogs, Christian fantasy demonstrates the application of biblical truth. Christ used story to bring to life the truth He proclaimed. Much of the Bible comes to us in story form–history, yes, but still in the form of story. We learn about putting God first in spite of circumstances from the story of Joseph. We learn about courage and absolute trust in God from the story of David and Goliath. We learn about consequences from the story of David and Bathsheba. Stories clarify truth. Good Christian fantasy elucidates truth, brings it to life.
As I have mentioned before, when my sons were growing up I wrote stories for them and read the stories to them. The stories implanted truth and elicited discussion. The first stories I wrote and read are encompassed in the Accidental Heroes series for preteens, teen…and for that matter, adults as well. The Helot illustrates being a faithful servant, faith in the face of doubt, and the consequences of yielding to temptation. Dark Danger deals with facing the hard stuff of life with courage, trust, and faithfulness. Terminus explores counting on God to keep His promises in the face of the demise of culture, and also the importance of remaining faithful in spite of the price one might pay for taking a stand for what is right.
The Christian Family and the Value of Reading
My own opinion is that reading to and with preteens and early teens is the best approach. It provides opportunity to discuss the implications of the content and the biblical truths illustrated. That takes time! Yes. But then, your family’s future is well worth the investment. I encourage you, start early and read often. It will pay high dividends.
Books I have written that teens will enjoy, while having biblical principles of life modeled for them, are the Accidental Heroes series books (The Helot—Dark Danger—Terminus), the Acceptable Fruit anthology of short stories, and Phantom Island Chronicles. They are all available in paperback or as e-books via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
I would note further that reading has intrinsic value. At the Family Share website there is a good article on the value of reading. And I would note that those who read when they are young are more likely to read when they get older. The value of reading is long-lasting. Most great thinkers were readers. The Ministry Matters website also has a good article about why it is important for Christians to read.
To encourage reading, I used to give my boys an extra 30 minutes reading time beyond their bedtime. To have an extra 30 minutes of lights on each evening they were glad to read, and reading became a life-habit. Reading also relaxed them so they were ready to go to sleep when it came to lights out.
What have you found helpful in developing childhood reading habits? Do you read to and with your kids? Your comments are welcome.