Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Truth and Children

I had a hard time on Easter Sunday.

We visited the large church where they were doing an Easter musical about the life of Christ with all the graphic details of the crucifixion.

I had seen productions like this before and understood it could be hard for my kids, but at the same time, I wanted them to see the other scenes like Jesus being born and healing the sick. (It was a long musical!)

Gregory and Daniel were both very scared during the arrest and crucifixion of Christ. Of course, it wasn't The Passion of the Christ up on stage, but there was still enough to scare a small child.

Greg kept saying he wanted to go home and Daniel kept asking if it was done. Thankfully, the story always has a happy ending, but I couldn't help wondering if we shouldn't have had them in there. Granted, there were many small children in the auditorium, but each child is different.

I never want to hide the truth from my children, but it's hard knowing how much truth to share at one time. It's like handing a child a plate of steak. They might like steak and it is good for them, but an adult has to cut it into something they can digest and handle.

And while we're on this subject, I think we should put some thought into these grand productions. Now that I have children, I wish they could take the Easter story and keep it strong without worrying about the fears I just wrote about. And after seeing The Passion, anything else falls short.

What I do know is that my children walked away with a real sense of the punishment Jesus took for their sins, and there can be no damage in that. They haven't had nightmares or bouts of fear since Sunday. Thankfully, their memories are short and they are quick to move on to the next thing that captures their attention. Just wondered if anyone else has had these thoughts.


Erin Haley said...

That's interesting for me to know, with my girls getting to the point to be able to someday sit in on a musical like that...

Oh, and the "T" in Martin, haha, I remember well!

it was fun getting everyone together at Farmer's. Did you know Aaron Bergren got married and they are due with their first baby in Nov.? And Tami is due the first week of June. time flies...

We are talking about coming up to see you this summer with the Farmer's. Kevin told us they were coming and wanted to know if Will and I and the girls wanted to come too...Wouldn't that be so fun?

Janine said...

Jeannie, do you remember the musical where Wes Seeley played the devil? My boys watched that and while they didnt have nightmares they'd run from Wes for months afterwards. (Jake still talks about it at Easter time and I believe he was three!)

I like the analogy from "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom. She asked her father about sex while they were on a trip and he paused and then said something like, "Corrie would I ask you to carry our suitcases?" And she said "Oh, no! They are too heavy for me. I'm too small to carry them." And then he said that there are some things (truths)that are too heavy a burden for children to carry and that he'd carry it until she was ready to handle it. So I do think we need to be careful not to burden our kids with too much too soon. Not saying you did, but in general that is how I have tried to "weigh" things.

Holly said...

Janine and Jeanie-
Wasn't that the musical where the spot was on Jason (Jesus) in his loin cloth trying to get on the cross? Hilarious...

Jeannie said...

Okay, see THIS is why these big productions are starting to drive me nuts - it just can't be done tastefully, it seems. Yes, poor Jason tried to get himself onto that cross in the corner, and if I remember right, he's in this "crouching tiger" position when the spotlight goes full blast. Aaron and I still go into fits of giggles over that one.

Oh forgive us, Lord, we don't know what we're doing.

Holly said...

Ohmigosh, Jeanie. I'm seriously having a heart attack right now..... Can't wait to share this with Jay!

Coleen L. said...

I can definitely relate. I can recall myself taking Conner when he was 4 and then Steve taking him when he was 5 to a similar production. It was very graphic and we experienced nightmares for some time. It hurts to know the truth and it's very hard to determine when those little minds and bodies of our children can handle it. Sometimes just the music behind the scenes and the words can scare them alone. I have not taken the younger 3 to this type of production yet. I have decided it's best to wait a little bit longer. Brenden should be ready within the next year or two, but time will tell. I will conquer that question each advent season.