Warrior Angels

“Why aren’t there more children’s books for boys?” Parents ask me this frequently. My answer, “I don’t know.” But it’s a great question especially for Christian children’s literature.

One Saturday night our five-year-old son couldn’t fall asleep. He wasn’t hungry or thirsty so we knew something bothered him. He confessed, monsters were in the house. So we did what every parent would do ̶ the monster chase. We shooed monsters out from under the bed and from inside the closets and behind all his curtains and chased them outside. No more monsters! Certainly, after such a successful monster chase he’d finally settle down, but fear still gripped his heart.

“What if they get back into our house?” he asked pitifully.

At that point, only God’s peace would calm his spirit, but how could we make a fearful boy understand God’s protection? If his imagination conceived horrifying monsters, couldn’t he imagine God’s fearsome warrior angels, too? Reassuring him the Bible was full of stories of God’s mighty angels sent to fight for and protect God’s people like Daniel in the lions’ den (Daniel 6:22), we explained how God still sends His guardian angels to protect us when we’re afraid, too (Psalm 34:7).

So we prayed, “God please send your mighty, warrior angels with fiery swords to protect our home. Place two at the front door and two at the back door so no one will harm us. We pray in Jesus name, Amen.” God’s comfort came (and I’m sure his angels, too).

The next morning, the Sunday comics opened to Pat Brady’s Rose is Rose. It pictured Pasquale (Rose’s preschool son) sitting on the doctor’s examining table with his cherub-looking guardian angel hovering above him. Fearful Pasquale said to his guardian angel, “Do you mind? The doctor’s coming in soon.” The angel transformed from a cute cherub to a mighty sword-slinging warrior angel until the room barely contained his fierce stature. Pasquale breathes a sigh of relief, “Thanks!” And his guardian angel replied, “No problem. Most doctors prefer me this way.” Twenty years later, Rose is Rose still adorns our refrigerator.

Children need their imaginations matched to biblical truths. Often, Bible curriculum wrongly portrays angels as simply cherub-like or emasculated versions of the truth. If children’s imaginations (especially boys) can contrive frightening monster images, then won’t knowing God’s angels are a fearsome match bring more comfort than a simplistic and false, fairy-like images?

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Comments

Warrior Angels — 15 Comments

  1. Great story, thanks for sharing it!

    In the Christian market, at least, books specifically for boys simply don’t sell nearly as well as books for girls or books aimed at both. Some publishers do risk it sometimes and deserve our support for sure when they do.

    The same is true, sometimes, for how God’s angels are portrayed. What publishers and producers believe appeals to and sells to the broadest spectrum of adults tends to dominate. Parents then need to decide if the overall message of a book or video has worth for their children, boys especially, despite the cherubic angels.

    But I do love knowing that God’s angels are mighty and agree with you that children need to know this. With the variety of depictions in children’s product, perhaps providing a mix in our homes can lead to conversations with our children and grandchildren about what the Bible says angels really are like.

    • Diane,

      Your insight and publishing expertise are greatly appreciated and well taken.

      I can only speak from my personal parenting perspective and preschool teaching experience. I find choosing Christian children’s books for boys a challenge. From my experience, most boys simply aren’t interested if the characters aren’t believable or the illustrations overly feminine (Christian and secular books alike).

      While I understand publishers are in the business to make money, I believe we would better serve our sons’ faith by nurturing their masculinity in literature as much as we nurture our daughters’ femininity.

  2. Love this…God had me teach my son to put his armor on every night..and to hide the Word in His heart in that way..he was having nightmares..Now He wants the Word everywhere for His eyes to see…he knows it’s alive and active!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoyed the post!

  3. I love this story. Thanks for sharing it. Maybe the same people who design clothes write books. It seems the girls get all the good clothes too. :)

    I love Rose is Rose too. I definitely think we should portray the warrior angel side more often when we talk about them with our children.

    • Ha, ha! The clothes have gotten a little better since my son was little, though. More choices of stores and brands.

      It’s been fun sharing this story and that same exact comic strip with my grandchildren this year. The comic strip is a bit yellowed and tape-mended but it’s still hanging on our refrigerator.

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