I read a quote the other day by G.K. Chesterton that made perfect sense to me:
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist.
Children already know that dragons exist.
Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
One of my favorite things to do as a child would be to spend all day out in the woods hunting down evil mutants and super villains and then bringing them to justice. If my dad were to tell you what his ideal day from childhood would look like, he would probably say something similar. But instead of evil mutants and super villains it would have been outlaws and Indians. It would seem that not a lot has changed over the generations: the hero must take down the bad guy.
Children are just aware very early on that something has gone wrong and they long for justice to sooth the pains of the wounds that have been inflicted on the world. The narrative then unfolds for them in the world of imagination which can be stewarded to help your child embrace the message of the gospel.
Enter into this world with them by becoming a fellow knight or elf in order to fight off ogres and dragons. And as you do, show them how you’re victory over the imaginary villain reflects the true story of an even Greater Hero who left His kingdom to overthrow a more daunting foe. And in Him doing so we’ve inherited His crown as well, and one day we’ll live with Him happily ever after. Use your children’s imagination to point them to the victory God’s children have because of Jesus. He beat sin and death through His death and resurrection.