Sometimes the people we love have different priorities in life than us. And that can be very difficult for us. Those expressed priorities might frustrate us, but in many cases we can see that they come from a place of love. Watch this clip from Shrek 2 as Shrek and Fiona’s father have a “discussion” about priorities. Her mother brings up the matter of children just before the scene picks up. Her parents certainly do not approve of her relationship with Shrek and their concerns for her come out in this moment.
Shrek has abruptly entered this new family as the love of Fiona’s life. Princess Fiona’s parents had always imagined the wealthy, handsome prince for her. So an ogre who lives in a swamp with a donkey is not only surprising, but also very disappointing. Fiona’s parents are prioritizing her safety and comfort for the future. Fiona is prioritizing love and the joy that comes with being herself with Shrek.
For individual or family reflection:
Our priorities are the things that are most important to us. The things we value the most. Share a time when your priorities were different than someone you love. If you are talking through this with children, give them some simple examples. When I tell you to go to sleep and you don’t want to, my priority is you getting enough rest and being happy and healthy the next day. Your priority is staying up and spending more time with mommy or daddy. Both are good things…
What is everyone’ s priority at this table? Fiona? Shrek? King? Queen? Donkey?
Who did the best job expressing their priorities with respect?
What could each character have done better?
What could they do to try to understand each other¹s priorities more?
Why do you think Fiona ran out at the end?
Explain a relationship with someone who loves you but has different priorities than you.
Is it an issue for you? If so, how do you overcome those differences?
Just for kids:
Priorities are the things that are most important to us. What are your priorities?
What are your mom’s and dad’s priorities?
What do you think are Jesus’ priorities?
Read Luke 11:37-54
At a meal with the Pharisees, Jesus took his place at the table without ritually purifying his hands by washing before the meal began.
The Pharisee who invited him was shocked. Jesus critiqued his concern with things that do not matter. To Jesus, the Pharisee is so concerned with things looking pure that he has failed to truly be pure. For this Pharisee, it was all about ritual and appearances. Jesus wants them to be generous in gifts and spirit and help meet the needs of others. That, Jesus says, is more important than status and respect.
This week, think about your priorities. How does your attitude and behaviors communicate your values and priorities? What do you care most about? What is most important to you? Be certain this week that your life reflects the things that truly matter most. And when your priorities are inconsistent with someone you love, try to see where they might be coming from. Be patient and understanding.
Pray (to yourself or with your family) that God’s priorities would be your priorities. Pray that you will focus on things that truly matter this week. Pray that you can be understanding with people who disagree.