Two lessons Christian parents can teach their kids about their favorite movie (without ever speaking Bruno’s name!)
Where were you when the Encanto phenomenon began? It was the first movie I watched in 2022, on January 1st in fact, surrounded by close friends in their Texas home. 4 adults, 6 kids, and all that talk about Bruno.
Since then, my kids and I have watched Encanto at least once a week. (We even got to see it in an actual movie theater last weekend!) And while every other mom reading this is thinking, “Yeah, me too. It’s basically on repeat in my house. Why are we still talking about it?”... I’d love to go a little deeper into this fun and addictive movie.
My kids and I have spent hours dissecting the plot, the characters, the subtleties of the movie… trying to figure out what it all means. And on my 5th watch, I came up with two big lessons that even us moms can take from the Madrigal family.
#1 - It’s hard when you can’t see your gift but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there!
I’ve heard a lot of theories about Mirabel and what her true gift might be. Sure, she technically has “no gift” but I think we can all agree that she’s a very gifted girl! She spends her life trying to fit into her gifted family, always working to please her Abuela, only to finally realize how impossible that is and stand up to her Abuela’s ridiculous expectations! Then she has the courage and wisdom to save her family and bring them all back together.
It seems as if her gift is helping others see their true worth, including herself in the end. What a gift!
But if you don’t feel like you’re talented in a specific area, I bet you can relate to Mirabel throughout most of the movie. Life is hard when it seems like everyone around you has a purpose, a special talent, and you just feel ordinary.
But God has a purpose for all of us!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
God has plans for us! Even when we can’t see it yet, the plan is still there. It takes Mirabel some time to discover it, but she does in the end! What a great lesson for our children.
#2 - Pretending to be perfect brings nothing but misery.
The Madrigal family always pretends to be perfect. Abuela practically demands it! But in the end, that’s what’s causing all the cracks in their family. Luisa is almost literally deflating under the pressure of being strong 24/7. (I think a lot of us mamas related to her song!) Isabela, the beautiful and graceful sister who most girls would envy, laments how difficult it is to always be perfect. Even poor Pepa views her negative emotions as something to always conceal and get rid of. She thinks she has to be sunshine and rainbows all the time.
But Mirabel has never been perfect. And she’s the one who helps them see that it’s ok to have imperfections! She comforts Luisa and convinces her to rest sometimes. She helps Isabela embrace her imperfect side and actually enjoy it! Even Pepa, in the end, is dancing under her own rain cloud.
Romans 3:23 says - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
All. That means no one on this earth is perfect. Only God can claim that title. And we can rest easy in that! God doesn’t expect perfection from us. We embrace our imperfections, like Mirable showed her family how to do, and lean on God in our weaknesses.
In 2 Corinthians 9, the Lord said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Another wonderful lesson for our children. They will fail, will feel weak, will wonder what their gifts are… and as we guide them, we can teach them to rest in the Lord and find their peace with Him, not in themselves.
So the next time you’re singing about Bruno or watching some donkeys dance behind Luisa, take a moment and help your kiddos see God in Encanto.