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More Than a Mermaid?

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

“For the wages of sin is death is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

**This devo is meant to be an encouragement to Able Moms everywhere to find moments of truth to share with their kids and is not in any way an endorsement of Disney or of The Little Mermaid movie. We understand and respect each family’s personal decisions regarding media and screen time.**

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the new live action Little Mermaid remake that hit theaters recently. Having grown up on the animated classic, naturally I was excited to see the new one. After carefully reading a Christian parental review of the movie to ensure there were no agenda-pushing surprises, we loaded up the family and headed to the theater. We all enjoyed it! Even my son, who was VERY vocal about not wanting to go. As we headed home, I told the kids how much I love this movie because of what it teaches us about God. They looked at me with wide eyes of curiosity. Sure, the lively music and bright colorful sea creatures were mesmerizing, but the lessons we can learn about our faith are much richer.

Now, I’m not suggesting that the movie is Christian or that the goal is to lead people to Jesus. But as I watch, I find it impossible to not make certain connections with my faith. So I began to explain to my kids the lessons we can learn from The Little Mermaid. I asked them, “Why did Ariel’s dad tell her to stay away from the surface and from humans?” “To keep her safe!,” my kids replied in unison. “Exactly!” I said. “Just like how mom and dad tell you not to do things to keep you safe.” In the same way that earthly parents try to protect their children, our Heavenly Father, gave us the Bible and commandments about how we should live. He wants to keep us safe. In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve the entire place as a paradise. They could go anywhere and do anything. Except eat fruit from the one tree. Why did God say they couldn’t eat the fruit from that tree? He wanted to protect them. But as we all know, Satan showed up on the scene in the form of a serpent. He convinced Eve that she should eat the fruit by promising her that if she did, she’d be like God. (Genesis 3:1-7) Isn’t that like how Ursula promised Ariel what she really wanted - to have legs and walk on land with Eric? It sounded really good, just like the fruit in the garden. It was forbidden. Her offer was a counterfeit.

We went on to talk about counterfeits and how sometimes people use fake or counterfeit money and try to trick people into thinking it’s the real thing. Isn’t that how the enemy of our souls operates? He offers us something that looks good, but it always has a cost: the price of our souls. Ariel was forced to give up her voice to Ursula in order to get the thing that she wanted. The whole system was rigged against her. Ursula knew that there was no way Ariel could succeed in her mission. I explained to my kids that when Ariel made a deal with Ursula, she separated herself from her father and found herself outside of his protection, just like how we separate ourselves from God when we sin.

The Bible tells us in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Romans also tells us that ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (3:23). We all deserve death. When Ariel failed her mission to kiss the prince in 3 days, Ursula came to claim her prize. Ariel was doomed to be her slave because that was the contract she signed. Just when it seemed like it was too late, her father showed up and traded his life for hers. When we were separated from our Heavenly Father because of our sin, He sent His son Jesus to take our place. We deserved death. By sinning against God, we make a deal with the enemy of our souls. By falling for his counterfeit “gifts,” we owe a heavy price, our souls. But God, in His mercy, sent Jesus to take our place!

My kids observed, “But after Ursula killed King Triton, she got really big and powerful!” “Yes,” I replied. “That’s because she thought she had won. She wanted the king dead so that she could take his place and rule the kingdom.” Then I described how that must be what it was like for Satan when Jesus died on the cross. He must have been celebrating that Jesus was finally out of the way and he had defeated God. But the story didn’t end there, did it? My kids excitedly said “But then Jesus rose from the dead!” Praise God that He defeated sin and death! When Jesus traded his life for ours, He saved us and made it possible for us to live forever with Him in heaven one day. In the end, Ariel did get to be with her prince. Because her father made it possible. And this time, there were no strings attached. Even though the enemy of our souls comes to steal, kill, and destroy, our Heavenly Father gives us good gifts. James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above.”

We wrapped up our discussion by talking about the importance of reading God’s word and knowing the truth. I explained how it’s so easy in our world today to be tricked by the enemy. When we don’t walk with God and hide His words in our hearts, we can’t know what is really true, and we are at risk of falling for Satan’s counterfeits. Whether it’s like Ariel being tricked by the sea witch or like Eve being tricked by the serpent in the garden, God wants us to read His word and stand firm in our faith so that we can discern what is true amidst the lies of the enemy in the fallen world around us.

Mama, whether you choose to see the movie with your family or skip it altogether, I hope that you will look for things around you in daily life that can help illustrate the truth of God’s word in a tangible way that our kids can grasp. It’s easy to get distracted in the busyness of life, but let us not be so busy that we miss these teachable and memorable moments with our children.

Your fellow Able Mom,

Caitlin Harris

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sins. We know that we deserve death, and we praise you for your goodness and mercy in offering us the gift of salvation. Help us to look for tangible illustrations of your love that we can use to create memorable, teachable moments with our children so that they grow up grounded in Your truth and prepared to stand firm against the devil’s schemes and deceptions. Amen.

Connect with Caitlin:

Devotional Director for Able Moms International

IG: @caitlinkropchuk

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