Family friendly movies are hard to find. But, movie night is always a highlight in our home.
In this post, I will share 6 family friendly movies that can lead to deeper spiritual conversations.
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We get excited as we hear and smell the popcorn popping. Sometimes we even get a little crazy and put candy and chocolates in our salty snack. The kids can hardly wait to press play. We really do enjoy a good family movie.
But what if Family Movie Night could be more than just popcorn and entertainment?
What if we could use the movies we watch to spark conversations with our kids about Christian spirituality?
This week, I am so happy to be working with another guest blogger. Brad Klassen is a writer, storyteller, and public speaker. His passion is to bring the Bible to life for all ages. He also enjoys helping others grow in their walk with Jesus.
Brad shares with us 6 family-friendly movies that you could use to have spiritual conversations with your kids.
You can receive his parenting PDF called 17 Ways to Grow Your Child’s Love for Jesus here.
**This post contains affiliate links please see Disclosure Policy** Click on the pictures for more information about each movie.
6 family friendly movies that can start spiritual conversations
1. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
This franchise of family friendly movies starts with The Lion, The Witch, and the wardrobe. It is a movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic brings the world of Narnia to life.
There is a great scene where Peter and Susan meet with the Professor to talk about the younger two siblings, Edmund and Lucy. As they discuss the issue of the stories being told, they have a great conversation about logic. Through it, they determine that if Lucy is not a liar, and she is not mad, then logically she must be telling the truth.
This movie s a great visual of how we can logically confront misbeliefs about Jesus. Many people believe that Jesus was a liar. Others believe Jesus was a lunatic, or crazy. Yet, through a logical search of the gospels, one can see that neither is true. Therefore, logically, Jesus must be who He says He is: Lord.
This movie and conversation may be more appropriate for kids a little older (around 9 or 10). At that general age they begin to be able to understand this a little better.
You may want to start the conversation by asking how your child felt when Peter and Susan didn’t believe Lucy. Then, you can see how they respond. You can then transition into a discussion on how similar it is for believing in Jesus.
In their lifetime our children will come into contact with doubters. This is a great way to equip them to know that what they believe is very logical.
2. Monsters Inc
One of my favourite family friendly movies is Monsters Inc. This Pixar animated movie is about two worlds. One world in the monster world and the other being the human world. Both worlds exist, but it is only when Sully accidentally allows a child into the monster world that the two come face to face.
When they do, the encounter has a greater impact on each other. It is subtle, but the movie also accounts for the fact that as the children get older, they are less impacted by the monster world.
Same goes for our world and the spiritual world. Both are real. Both impact the other. But it takes the faith of a child to truly see the one.
In Matthew 18, Jesus’ disciples are asking who is the greatest in Heaven. In response, Jesus brought a child into the inner circle of adults and said:
“unless (they, adults) change and become like little children, (they) will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
(Matthew 18:3, NIV, (brackets mine)
What a great reason for us as adults to enter into a child’s world and ask them how they see the kingdom of God.
This can be a great bridge to discuss the reality of heaven. We can explain that even though we can’t see Heaven we can know it is there.
Then we can ask questions such as:
- How we can get to heaven
- How to have full trust (like a child) in the One who gave us away.
All of my children love thes family friendly movies. It is the modern version of the old tale of Rapunzel. The premise is that the kingdom’s princess has been taken by a woman who raises her as her own.
As Rapunzel grows up, she does not know how deceived she has. She does not realize the truth until she discovers her real identity and to whom she really belongs. It is only after she gains this understanding that she also gains her true freedom.
What we can learn
This movie can lead to a conversation with your kids our true identity in Christ. We can compare the devil to the evil mother. This will lead us to talking about Satan and how he can lie to us. How the lies of Satan can make us believe things that are not true. We can then lead the discussion to our true identity. In Christ we are children of God, and they are children of True Royalty.
Our enemy would love nothing more than to destroy our sense of who we are. We are children of God, created in His image. He does this through deception, twisting of the truth, and outright lies.
In his gospel, John writes this to let the reader know to whom they belong:
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
Our kids carry too many negative thoughts about themselves. Let’s remind them that they belong to the King of kings.
4. The Incredibles
One of my favourite family friendly movies includes The Incredibles. In this animated superhero flick, the Parr family seems to be a normal family living in the suburbs. The only difference is that they all have superpowers.
Through the choices they make, they learn that the only way they will win in the end is if they work together. This is a great starting point for talking with your kids about spiritual gifts.
What we can learn
We all have a desire to do something amazing in our lives. As believers, God has given all of us different gifts.
We need to help our kids discover how God has wired them and what gifts He has given them. Then teach them to be a part of the Body of Christ (the Church). This is where their gifts will grow and they will be a part of something bigger than themselves, and bigger than this life.
Paul writes it this way in 2 Corinthians 12:11:
All these (gifts) are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.” (NIV)
God gives each believer gifts, even children. Let’s show them that by working together, we can accomplish a lot for God’s kingdom.
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In this winter wonderland, we find the story of two sisters who journey through grief, power, separation, love, and, ultimately, restoration.
The ultimate climax of the story comes as the younger sister sacrifices herself in an act of true love to save her sister.
What we can lean
This is a great picture of how Jesus gave Himself up for us so that we can know Him.
In John 15, Jesus is encouraging His disciples just before going to the cross. As He pours out His heart for them, He tells them that
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
(John 15:13, NIV)
Then He went on to actually do that. He laid down His life. For them. For us.
Jesus knew what He was doing when He went to the cross. It was His choice.
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.”
(John 10:17-18, NIV, emphasis added)
Our kids need to know that when Jesus laid down His life for us. He showed us what the ultimate act of true love is.
6. The BFG
To end our list of family friendly movies, we have the Big Friendly Giant. This is a feel-good, heartwarming story of a little girl who befriends a Big Friendly Giant.
As they first meet, she has a lot of fear, and rightly so. Soon she realizes he is not who she had thought him to be. She learns that he is not who the other giants want him to be. Both she and the other giants had judged him from his outward appearance.
What we can learn
Just like these characters, we as humans too often judge from outward appearances. This can be a great introduction to talking with your children about how God doesn’t judge by what is seen. God judges us by what is unseen: the heart.
In 1 Samuel 16, the prophet Samuel is sent to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king of Israel. When Jesse’s oldest son comes forward, Samuel is excited and ready to anoint him. But God had other plans.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
(2 Samuel 16:7, NIV)
After Samuel has seen all the sons there, he asks if there was anyone else. That’s when David comes into the picture.
David wasn’t invited to the party.
His own family didn’t see what he would be one day.
But when Samuel saw him, God declared
“Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
(2 Samuel 16:12, NIV)
Even though David was described as a handsome young man (2 Samuel 16:12, NIV), it was his character that God saw.
We live in a world where appearance determines too much for our kids. We need to teach our children that we should judge each other by our actions and not our looks. Even though there is nothing wrong with looking good, it is the character that should define them.
Of course, there are many more family friendly movies that could be used this way.
My challenge to all of us is to revamp Movie Night and see where the conversations can go.
In the comments below please share your favourite family friendly movies that can be used to learn a deeper meaning.
Please share this post with family and friends. Thank you.