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To celebrate the first day of summer vacation my kids and I went to the movies yesterday. We love a good story, and God often uses story to show me truths about who He is and provide me with great conversations to have with my kids about our faith. Yesterday was one of those experiences.

If I were still a children's pastor I'd load up all my older kids and take them to see Maleficent this weekend. After the movie I'd take them all out for ice cream and ask them the following questions (serious spoilers ahead):

1. In the beginning of the movie what words would you use to describe Maleficent (loving, kind, happy, beautiful, trusting, playful)?

2. What happened to change Maleficent (she was betrayed by someone she loved)?

3. Does it hurt more to be betrayed by a close friend or a stranger? Why?

4. Why did Stefen betray Maleficent (selfishness)? Have you ever hurt someone you love because you were selfish?

5. Did Maleficent forgive Stefen for betraying her?

6. When Maleficent cursed Aurora what emotions do you think she was feeling (anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, revenge)?

7. Who was hurt by Maleficent's anger (Aurora, Stefen, the Queen, Diaval, the kings army, the residents of the Moors, Maleficent)?

8. What changed Maleficent's heart and made her want to revoke her curse on Aurora (love)?

9. Was Maleficent repentant? How do we know that? (Her words, actions, and behavior changed. She did everything she could to make right what she had made wrong.)

10. Why do we think true love is only romantic love?

11. How did Maleficent show true love to Aurora? (She sacrificed for her, was willing to protect her, and put her needs above her own.)

Since I'm not a children's pastor anymore I'll have to settle for having this chat with my own kids. Maybe you could do the same.

I'd love to know if you saw any other gospel truths in Maleficent or another movie you've seen recently!