Oh, come on. Admit it. If you have children (and maybe if you don’t), you have seen Frozen. More than once. Ok, be honest. You know all of the songs by heart, and you probably belt them out in your car. Or maybe you’re more of a lip-syncer, like this couple:
I love how the video is titled “Good Looking Parents Sing Disney’s Frozen.” Yes, they’re adorable. Thanks for rubbing it in, YouTube.
So, even if you’re not the good looking Frozen lip-syncing type, you CAN use your kids’ obsession with the movie to their spiritual advantage. As Christian parents, we don’t have to be limited to exclusively Christian content when we look for ways to teach our children about God’s love. And, Frozen offers all kinds of options for us when we want to open up spiritual conversations with our children.
Option One: Dead Parents…Again!
Why is it that the most dangerous job in any animated movie is being someone’s mother? In true kid movie fashion, Anna and Elsa’s parents spend about five minutes showing us how awesome they are, and then they die in a terrible disaster at sea, never to be seen or heard from again. Their demise gives us opportunity to talk to our kids about death. Here are the types of questions we could ask:
What do you think happens when people die?
What do you think Heaven is like?
How do we get to Heaven?
We can listen to their answers thoughtfully, and show them what the Bible says about Heaven and believing in Jesus. Even if we do more listening than talking (depending on the ages of our children), this offers a great chance to see how much our little ones know and understand about salvation.
Option Two: Real Love (the Fixer-Upper Version)
Throughout the movie we see Anna begin to depend more and more on good ole Kristoph, and he endears himself to us and to her, despite his apparent hygiene issues. Olaf even describes what real love is when he talks about Kristoph late in the movie, saying that love is “putting someone else before yourself.” This is a great opportunity to talk to our kids about what it looks like to show love to others.
Here are some good questions to ask:
Why do you think Kristoff left Anna at the castle with Hans when he didn’t want to?
Why do you think he told Anna not to worry about his ice business, even though it was a real problem for him?
What are some ways that we can put someone else before ourselves?
What are some ways we can show real love to each other?
This conversation can easily be tailored to all kinds of situations that your family may be dealing with, from girl drama at school, to marriage issues, to taking care not to exclude kids who don’t have many friends. We can look at the love chapter and talk about how we can do a better job in our family of loving each other with the kind of love God calls us to. And, we can tackle the ever-difficult topic of loving our enemies.
Option Three: Real Love (the Sisters Before Misters Version)
One of my favorite things about the movie is the fact that it isn’t romantic love that saves the day, but love between two sisters. Through the entire movie we see Elsa and Anna making sacrifices for each other, putting each others’ needs ahead of their own. Elsa stays locked away and lonely for her entire life for fear of hurting Anna again. Anna refuses to give up on her sister, despite the fact that she has no idea for all those years why Elsa will have nothing to do with her. And, of course, in the ultimate act of true love, we see Anna sacrifice her own life to save her sister.
These plot elements are perfect for talking about two types of sacrificial love. One is the love that we should have for one another. We can piggy-back this conversation with the talk about Kristoff and Anna. Of course, this would be a good moment to teach our kids John 15:13: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. We can talk to our children about the importance of loyalty in friendship, and loving others, even annoying siblings, with a love that is deep and real. We can discuss how real love sometimes requires real action, like standing up for someone.
Here are some good questions to ask:
Why do you think Anna stood between Else and Hans?
Why do you think the Bible says we should love our friends with that kind of love?
What are some specific actions we can take to show love to our friends at school?
What can we do when it is difficult to love someone?
The other type of sacrificial love that we can talk about is the love of Jesus Christ. We can point out to the children that, like Anna put herself between Elsa and Hans, Jesus put himself between us and God. We can teach them why we need a Savior and explain how much more Jesus endured than just death on a cross. Of course, the analogy is not perfect, but we can use it as a great jumping off place to talk to our kids about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Here are some questions we could ask:
We need Jesus to rescue us. Do you know why?
Why do you think Jesus would die for us?
Our hearts aren’t frozen, but what in our hearts can be changed by Jesus’ love?
And, once we have talked about these things and the kids run off to play while we go about our day (while singing the songs, of course), we can pray that something in our conversation brought about a bit of tenderness in their hearts toward the incredible news of the gospel. And, once we have opened up the topic, we may be surprised how the kids will begin to be reminded of the gospel in other unlikely places.
Then, my friends, we are beginning to instill a Christian worldview in our kids. Before long, they will be seeing lots of things through the lens of the great love story of Jesus Christ.
I call that a successful day of parenting. And, if you happen to end up becoming a good looking couple lip-syncing Frozen songs on YouTube in the process, good for you. If not, well, there’s always the shower. Don’t be bitter about those good looking parents, though. Just let it go.