Yesterday in Sunday school we began to trek through the kings of the Old Testament. As the last spark of interest in class came from Solomon’s thousand wives, and wondering (at an age appropriate level) what a concubine was, I didn’t have extremely high hopes for discussion going forward. Our curriculum is heavy on male protagonists, and while that never bothered me as a kid, my class of girls is having a hard time connecting with them. Solomon’s wives, and the queen of Sheba, they found exciting.
To try and spark some discussion, I decided to ask what kings they knew of, from books, movies, history, and then my plan was to have them discuss what makes a good king. The only king they came up with was King Arthur. Never mind that we’ve been talking about Solomon and David for the past two months. King Arthur was the only one to make the list without prompting.
When I was their age, I probably would have said King Arthur. I would have more likely said King Richard the Lionheart. After that, High King Peter, King Edward, all the other kings of Narnia, Henry the VIII, Xerxes, and the King of Siam(from The King and I). If my teacher had allowed other rulers, I could have added Genghis Khan, Augustus Caesar, Aslan, whichever Louis was king in The Three Musketeers, and maybe Oberon, if I thought really hard, and was encouraged to keep thinking. For that matter, I could have added the king from Disney’s Cinderella, King Triton from The Little Mermaid, and the orangutan from The Jungle Book.
It’s hard to be suddenly asked a question, and have to sit and brainstorm. I might have been just as tongue tied, and unable to think, as my class was, at their age. It depends on so much more than the knowledge in your head, it’s the time of day, and what is really on your mind, and what you think the people around you think of you. But only King Arthur? Though I remember someone bringing up King Humperdinck a few weeks ago, so that’s promising.