My brother loved comic book heroes when he was young. He relished the idea of a normal man suddenly turning into a super hero to defend and protect others.
Hero worship is often a natural part of growing up. Our kids might adore athletes, musicians, actors or a host of other people. The problem with heroes is they are sinful people just like the rest of us. No one can live up to the ideals wrapped up in hero worship.
What happens when our heroes are people we think are godly men and women? What if our children really admire a Bible class teacher, youth minister, preacher, elder or teen mentor? Obviously, we want to encourage our kids to develop good spiritual habits and attitudes. If they adopt them from admiring godly people, there is nothing wrong with it – to a point.
The problem starts when we forget to teach our children about the fallen world and sin. Read Hebrews chapter eleven. Even the men and women listed as heroes of faith had some serious sin in their lives at one point or another. Noah got drunk. Jacob stole his brother’s blessing. Moses murdered a man. Rahab was a prostitute. Yet in spite of their sins, God inspired the author of Hebrews to list these same people as heroes of faith.
We need to teach our children – people sin. Period. We all need God, no matter how “Christian” we may appear. Our faith is not based on any person, but on God. Man will disappoint us over and over again. Our children need to understand, while people will sometimes break our hearts, God never will. Bad choices, ugly words, broken promises, evil deeds, all reflect on Satan and our ease in giving in to his temptations. They are a result of the free will with which God has blessed us. They are never a reflection on God.
Over the years, I have seen probably hundreds of people “leave God” or “leave the Church” because of what a person did or did not do. They have placed their faith in someone who disappointed them and then allowed the experience to crush their faith as well. One of the most important concepts you can teach your children is to separate their “heroes” from God. If they place their faith in God, they can remain strong. Admiring others is not a sin, just teach your children the best place to put their complete faith, trust and hero worship is in God.
Have your kids ever been disappointed by a hero? How did you handle it? Please share with us in a comment below.