I’ve always judiciously exposed my kids to depictions of violence. I want to raise them to be able to handle malevolent creatures — people and spirits.
I started by allowing them to watch me play Gears of War — ‘the monster game’ as it came to be known. Later, Left 4 Dead (‘the zombie game’) actually became a favourite that my eldest daughter (five at the time) would bug me to play with her. Whenever I did, her sister — two years her junior — would join in, too. Lately they’ve watched me playing Dead Island.
My goals are to model a) fearlessness in the face of evil and b) taking action against evil — particularly bringing to bear power over evil supernatural creatures. Demons are real and they’re scary — but they need not be harmful. I’m determined to equip my kids to stand up to them (be warned, though, that Christians are endowed with unique authority in this). Last night my six-year-old daughter demonstrated that she’s learning these lessons.
She had a dream in which she was sitting on our couch watching TV in our open-plan lounge room/dining room/kitchen when a zombie appeared. She called out a warning to her mum who was preparing dinner, but it was too late — the zombie attacked her mum and began biting her face. My daughter was witnessing the death of her mother. I was nowhere to be seen. She was all alone — nobody was there to save her. My daughter was not overwhelmed by loss, she wasn’t paralysed by fear, she didn’t flee in terror — she picked up a gun and shot and killed the zombie. Then she shot her mother.
When she woke her mum in the night to tell her about the dream (she was upset, but not crying, though she felt like it), my wife immediately expressed her pride in her daughter’s heroic actions. She had not only stood her ground against a terrifying creature, she’d also taken precisely the right course of action against the creature that moments before had been her mum.
Warfare in the natural realm is the domain of men, but all of mankind — male and female — is caught up in a spiritual war whether you perceive it or not. This little girl’s shaping up to be a formidable warrior indeed. I couldn’t be prouder.