I recently saw a commercial for the show The Hero hosted by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson.I was intrigued by the title and decided to tune in. For those of you who have not seen the show, it’s a reality competition. 10 ordinary people are placed together in a house and put through a series of mental, physical, and emotional challenges. Each week, the viewers vote to determine which contestant was the most heroic.
A few weeks into the season, I was able to catch an episode in which Charlie, a police officer, shared his thoughts about what being a hero signified to him: “A hero is able to give up what they want most for something greater.” He said. “As a police officer, I put my hand up and took an oath to basically do what I have to do…do my duty and if that means laying down my life, that’s what I’m committed to do…I tell you that I don’t need to go to the finals to know I’m a hero. I know I’m a hero.”
Knowingly or unknowingly, this police officer was quoting 1 John 3:16, which says:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
I am curious to know what our younger two children think about heroes. What does a hero look like to them? Does a hero look like the popular kid in school? The latest pop artist? Maybe it’s the baseball or basketball star currently in the limelight? In this media-filled world I am concerned it may be hard for our children to look past the glitz and glamour to see that God gives them opportunities to be a hero themselves.
Jesus is the ultimate hero and it’s His example that I should follow.
Demonstrating heroic behavior to my children starts with me. Through 1 John 3:16, I learn to be intentional about laying myself down just as Jesus did for others. We can look to Jesus as our example, who modeled heroic behaviors in a variety of ways:
1. A hero loves people better
Luke 10:27: So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.”
Loving people on purpose is fun for me. I look for opportunities to share a smile, a hug, or encourage others in converstation. I pray for divine appointments to showcase God’s love to others.
However, loving people who are really hard to love doesn’t come as easy. I pray for God’s strength to not dismiss people who have offended me but to love them through their pain. I recognize that hurt people hurt others, so I can have grace to interact and love them with that understanding.
My children have seen how I interact with friendly and difficult people. My husband and I are mindful to explain the reasons we love people even when it’s hard.
2. A hero shows compassion
Matthew 25:35-36: For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
I teach our kids compassion by looking for chances to bless those in need through volunteer and giving opportunities. Our family has volunteered at our local Salvation Army to feed the homeless and the elderly. We also went on a mission trip to Peru to build homes for the poor.
Our kids have walked out compassion and my prayer is that they will continue this behavior in their adult lives.
3. A hero is honest
Proverbs 16:13: Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.
They say that honesty is the best policy and, according to Scripture, it’s true!
Every day, my children ask me questions that require truthful answers such as. “Is Santa Clause real?” “Why don’t we celebrate Halloween?” And those are some of the easy questions! It is my responsibility to give them the truth based on what Scripture says.
I also share with our children the impact of dishonesty in their lives. Dishonesty is not representative of God but it is representative of our adversary, the devil. In John 8, the Bible also describes satan as the father of lies...a true hero cannot align with that character trait!
4. A hero takes responsibility
1 Corinthians 7:24: Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.
According to their age, my children are responsible for their relationship with God, honoring father and mother, schoolwork, personal belongings, and how they treat others.
When the boys do not treat each other kindly, we walk them through the process of taking responsibility for their actions. Through repetition, we teach them not to blame shift. They learn to communicate their feelings, ask for forgiveness, and pray for God’s help with self-control.
5. A hero serves others
Mark 9:35: And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Sacrificing some of my desires to meet the needs of others is the way I have modeled service to my children. I demonstrate this by serving my husband regularly and meeting his love language of acts of service. I put his need of an organized home above my “it can wait for tomorrow” attitude.
I encourage my boys to serve others in the family by setting the table before a meal and cleaning up after. I believe that we are establishing an attitude of service through simple chores.
It takes courage to live a life of a hero here on earth, but my boys and I are up for the challenge! Hopefully one day, my boys will be able to say that, “Besides God, my mom was one of my heroes.”
Who are your kids’ heroes? Who are yours? Tell us in the comments.
Diana Jones is a compassionate wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She is passionate about sharing God's love and all that He has done throughout her life. She is also looking for opportunities to grow spiritually through reading, prayer, singing and being in fellowship with others. She is thankful for the opportunity share her stories here at Circles of Faith.