The article points out that boys identify with characters who overcome obstacles and/or meet high expectations. These characters don’t always have to be overachievers or part of the in-crowd. Boys identify just as much with underdogs who are confident and end up exceeding expectations. The study also found that boys typically don’t like characters who are bullies, weaklings, dummies or bad boys. Boys also disliked passive characters.
When I read that, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s just a great reminder that we need to make sure that we aren’t just telling kids Bible stories for informational and behavioural purposes. We need to make sure that we tell all these wonderful stories and accounts within the context of the greater meta-narrative of God’s plan for redemption of humanity and creation… a story that continues on today and until his return. We need to help kids find their place in the “God Story,” which happens to be an exciting adventure.
I always try and frame following God as the most amazing life we can live because we get to be a part of changing the world around us for the better. We get to be a part of helping people to see how much God loves them and the amazing life he has for all of us. I then frame how we do that within the context of that story so that everything from obeying mom and dad to helping the poor to talking with God regularly is all a part of the adventure of following God. What an exciting life story to call kids to be a part of!