Maybe you have a child who is dolefully lurking in your vicinity. He begrudgingly said goodnight to Master Chief in Halo: Infinite after your third request. Could you turn this into a moment to help him gain a smidgen of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom—biblically speaking?
Master Chief is a strong “supersoldier” with telescopic vision, as you may know from your child’s long hours of videogaming. You consider which strong men of the Bible you know, and Samson comes to mind (Judges 13-16).
It’s time to engage.
Talkin’ ’bout the Bible: Samson
“So, you play as Master Chief when you play Halo, don’t you?” you ask.
“Yeah,” your child answers.
“He’s a hero, right? With strength, fighting skills, and even telescopic vision?”
“Do you remember any heroes like that in the Bible?”
“No. Aren’t they all, like, just quiet men who think about God?”
(Simplify—or give greater nuance and complexity—to this sample dialogue depending on your child’s age, maturity, and Bible knowledge.)
“Actually, the Bible describes a strong warrior and judge named Samson who was dedicated to God. God gave him supernatural strength. That’s because he had a mission to do. The Bible says ‘He will take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines’ (Judges 13:5b).”
He’s beginning to hear, “Blah, blah, blah.” So, you ask another question.
Keep His Interest
“Do you get to choose what kinds of missions you play through as Master Chief?”
(He’s paying attention again. Listen for his answer and what kinds of missions his personality draws him to. This will be valuable in future conversations.)
You continue: “Samson’s main mission was to kill off some evil Philistines to help Israel. He got distracted by beautiful women, though, and some bad relationships. He was distracted by what he saw. Does Master Chief’s telescopic vision ever cause him problems? Does it ever hurt your mission or only help it?”
(Play off whatever his response is for your mutual enjoyment or continue your story.)
“Samson’s distracted eyes eventually caused the Philistines to catch him and PLUCK OUT his eyes. Not only that, but a woman—the Philistine Delilah—tricked him and cut his long hair, which God had made the source of his strength. That made him powerless. Samson and Delilah is a famous Bible story. Can Master Chief be robbed of his powers?”
Pay attention to his response—always listen like the caring interlocutor you know you can be.
The Last Word
“Our overall mission—you would probably call it a ‘campaign*’— is to stay close to God. He’s our greatest power and gives us our strength. He gives it through the Holy Spirit, not through our hair like he did for Samson. God also gives us missions. Samson’s mission resulted in him killing the Philistines by pulling down the pillars of the building they were in. But it killed him at the same time. Still, he was avenged for them plucking out his eyes, and he served God’s purposes in the end. If he had kept his eyes and thoughts on God more—been more obedient—it may have been a better result for him. How does Master Chief’s story end?”
(Let him answer and have the last word.)
Your child may know his Bible heroes and not think that Samson is the best person to compare to Master Chief. That’s OK! If that’s the case, you can both, over time, do a little reading to find a better match. That’s all good; it keeps the conversation alive. And he’ll be on his way to comparing and contrasting heroes himself—gaining knowledge and understanding, and thinking biblically.
*I am told that many missions make a campaign.