We are sort of comic book movie geeks in our family. We are not the kind that wears costumes to movie theaters, though. I mean, maybe a random Vader or Captain America shirt or something… We are, however, the nerds who sit through the credits to watch the last scene at the end. (For you novices, yes… there are ALWAYS final scenes at the very end. Kind of like the final scene from Ferris Bueller back in the 80s. And if you don’t know about that either, I simply cannot help you.)
I was recently watching the new Black Panther movie again with my husband. There are several good lines in the movie, but one of my favorites is spoken by the matriarch in the story, and since we are heading into Mother’s Day this weekend, I thought I would share it with you.
During the movie, the king of Wakanda, T’Challa, is challenged for the throne by Erik Killmonger. During the battle, the young king is getting his behind handed to him by his challenger. It is during this battle that T’Challa’s mother delivers a great line. When it looks like her son will be defeated, she says,
“Show him who you are.”
I believe one of the most important things a mother can do for her children is to ensure that they know who they are. There will be times in our children’s lives when it will be important for them to stand on that knowledge. Children who have no knowledge of who they are have a hard time when hard times come.
For my children, knowing who they are means first knowing that they are Bensons. With four kids in the family, our children grew up never being alone… even when they wanted to be alone. We lived, for many years, far away from any family, so what one of us did, all of us did together. There were precious few play dates with other kids. If our kids wanted someone to play with, they had to look no farther than the Benson standing right in front of them. To be a Benson means never having to walk through anything alone. It is easier to walk in confidence when we do not walk alone.
Being a Benson means we try lots of things. We try hard things together, and we push through when things get harder. We have enjoyed success together, and we have supported each other during defeat. We laugh together and we cry together. We get mad and we forgive. We laugh at and pick at one another, but outsiders will only get so far with that sort of thing.
We have had many honorary Bensons, because to be a Benson is a good thing. This year we will add two new official Bensons to the clan, and I look forward to having them learn what it means to bear the name. They will be loved fiercely because any kind of love that isn’t fierce is no kind of love at all.
It is also important that kids know whose they are. This lesson I learned from the matriarch of my own family, my grandmother, years ago. The Lord gave Matthew and me these children, but they are only on loan. They belong to God. No matter where they go, what they do, or the choices they make, they all belong the One who made them and gave Himself up for them. It is from Him that their true identity comes. Ultimately, they are who He says they are. He says they are called, anointed, set apart, gifted, valued, loved, and grafted into His family. Our kids are sons and daughter to the King of Kings.
Our kids won’t face Erik Killmonger, but they do have an enemy, and that enemy will stop at nothing in his efforts to defeat them. There will be times when our kids will need to show him who they are, but in order to do that, they have to know themselves, who they are. Kids who can stand firmly planted in both their earthly family and their heavenly one will fair far better during the challenges that are sure to come their way.
So to my children, when the enemy comes at you, and he’s handing your behind to you…
Show. Him. Who. You. Are.