Archive for the ‘The Little Mermaid’ Category

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Little Mermaid’s Ursula Helps Teach us about Sin

June 21, 2009

Teaching the subject of sin to children can be fairly challenging and intimidating.  I know personally, sometimes teaching the subject of sin to adults can be a daunting task as well.  Sin and temptation are common themes throughout all of Scripture.  Using various Bible stories as teaching tools is a great idea.  If you need to take the message a step further and need some help, let me introduce you to a great character to use… Ursula.

I guess I know so much about The Little Mermaid because it is one of my little girl’s favorite movies.  After watching it several times, I became intrigued with the correlation Ursula’s character has to the reality of sin and temptation.

Here are some helpful hints on how to use Ursula’s character to teach your children about sin and temptation:

1.  Ursula plotted to trap Ariel, using her own weakness/passion against her. If you have seen the movie, you will remember how Ursula watches Ariel’s passion for Eric develop and decides to use this as a ploy to trap her.  Unfortunately, our enemy does the same thing with us.  Like Ariel, when our mind becomes focused on something more than pleasing our father, we can easily be beguiled by the slippery words Satan uses.  Unfortunately, many have fallen to this temptation, never seeing or knowing that Satan had been plotting their temptation for some time.   We have to teach our children to be on their guard at all times.  Ephesians 6 tells us,

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

2.  Temptation usually sounds like a deal that can’t go wrong… but it does. A number of us have fallen prey to the temptation of believing a deal that was not true.  Unfortunately, when we become obsessed with something, our rational approach to things and of all things, our spiritual compass, seems to go out the window.  Teach your children about how to guard against such things and be wary of making decisions before praying about them.  Just like Ursula’s deal with Ariel, sin sounds so inviting until we find ourselves caught in its snares.

3.  Sin affects those we love the most, even when we don’t mean for them to. Ariel’s deal with Ursula affected her friends, Eric and her father.  When the contracted was called to be paid, Ariel’s father had to pay with his life to save Ariel’s.  This is a great lesson to teach your children about sin.  As we covered in an earlier post, A Father’s Love, the king’s sacrifice for his daughter’s deal is much like the sacrifice Christ made for our sin.  As it states in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Teach your children that sin affects all of us, but that there is redemptive mercy in Christ’ sacrifice for our “contract”.

4.  The enemy makes the rules, but will cheat to win. I love how Ariel’s plan begins working, but when the scenerio seems to play in her favor, Ursula takes matters into her own hands and competes against Ariel, making it difficult to win.  Many of us think that for some reason, sin will work out in our favor and will not have the same effect other people’s sin has had.  This is simply untrue.  Like Ursual, Satan will not follow any rules that will further our relationship with Christ.  In fact, he lives to destroy it.  We have to teach our children how to know when we are being tempted and how to pray against it.  Additionally, as fathers, we need to actively pray for our children’s decisions, regardless of their ages.

5.  The deal will always take something from you. In this movie, Ariel’s voice is taken from her as part of the deal.  Help your children understand John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  Just like Ursula, the devil will steal something from them in every sin transaction.

Here’s a great idea for you to consider.  Let your children know prior to watching the movie the similarities of Ursula’s plot to that of Satan’s.  Have them be on the look out throughout the movie for different instances where the similarities are apparent.  You might be surprised what they come up with.  And better yet, you might just learn something new yourself!

If you would like more in this series, please be sure to check out the other articles in Using Movies to Witness.

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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

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A Father’s Love- King Triton

April 21, 2009

The Little Mermaid is one of my daughter’s favorite movies.  From the crazy one-liners to the fantastic musical scores, this particular movie ranks #1 with many little girls.  I particularly like the wonderful correlation of this movie to Scripture.  We are going to explore several of the themes present in this film, but today, we will start with a father’s love using King Triton.

The parallels between King Triton’s love and devotion to his children and that of Christ’ love and devotion to us is almost too overwhelming.  Granted, King Triton is one of the Greek Gods, just indulge me as we go over possible lessons for you to teach your children about our father’s love.

1.  King Triton’s overprotective nature. One of the first attributes one picks up from King Triton is his apparent phobia of Ariel going to the surface.  We can see his true motive is love for his daughter and concern for her safety, but just like all of us, Ariel seems to think there is more to it.

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will hover over Jerusalem  and protect it like a bird protecting its nest.He will defend and save the city;  he will pass over it and rescue it.”  – Isaiah 31:5

We often forget how our God urges us to stay away from those environments potentially harmful to us.  In the verse above, God’s protection is compared to a bird protecting its nest, ready to defend and save the occupants.  Unfortunately, like Ariel, many of us do not heed the protective words of our Savior, choosing rather to chase our own inhibitions.  We soon find out that our bad decisions still affect our father.

2.  When we go missing, the Father calls an all out search. I love the quote from the movie where King Triton tells one of those searching for his missing daughter, “Leave no stone unturned, no one rests until my little girl is found.”  Wow, what a statement about a father’s love.  When we “go missing” from our Father’s will, there is a similar search for us.  In fact, Christ mentions how God will search out for the 1 lost lamb, bringing it home gently on his shoulders.

As a child, I often heard of God’s wrath or his disdain for my sins, but rarely did I hear of how he would “leave no stone unturned” when I would go missing from his will.  We need to convey this aspect of Christ’ love for us to our children.  Daily, they experience the sometimes fickle nature of human love, but we fail them in teaching them how Christ’ love truly surpasses our understanding.  Jesus came and turned over the one stone that kept us from him… in fact, he it was rolled away Easter morning!

3.  When our sins seemed to bind us to the Enemy, our Father gave himself as a ransom. Perhaps the most compelling scene of the movie was when King Triton, against the wishes of his pleading daughter, signs the contract with Ursela in her stead.  After all, this is what the great enemy wanted after all.  The evil sea witch was no more interested in Ariel, but rather, sought to bring down Triton the entire time.

Our Enemy works in much the same way.  Explain to your children how God sent his son to sign our contract.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 6:23

What a great verse to use when explaining this particular concept, using this particular scene.  Christ paid the ultimate costs of our bad decisions.  Like the character of Triton, our Heavenly Father made this decision without a second thought.  He signed for our transgressions so that we might live.  What a mighty lesson to instill in our children.

Of course, King Triton is not in any league with our God, but it does provide us a great platform to open dialogue with our children about the depths of our Father’s love for us.  There are so many more similarities in the movie that I have not covered in this post.

Here’s a great idea for you to consider.  Let your children know prior to watching the movie the similarities of Triton’s love to our Heavenly Father’s love.  Have them be on the look out throughout the movie for different instances where the similarities are apparent.  You might be surprised what they come up with.  And better yet, you might just learn something new yourself!

If you would like more in this series, please be sure to check out the other articles in Using Movies to Witness.

Have new posts delivered right to your email, click here.
Subscribe to Christian Men-Christian Warriors by Email
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About the Writer:

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.

As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses.  This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.