Stranger Things: Season Three S3E7
A Note to Parents: We at TheSource4Parents.com realize it’s difficult to find fun family entertainment today. With that in mind, we realize that a few of you might object to some of the content in shows like Stranger Things and choose not to show it to your kids. After all, even secular media organization Common Sense Media rated Stranger Things “age 14+”… so maybe use that as a rough plumb line. Even though this show is mild by today’s standards, it does include foul language and some sensual situations (which might be good to dialogue about). If you do decide to let your kids see it, hopefully the following discussion guide will give you some ideas of themes you can discuss and what scripture says about it.
Stranger Things just dropped their third season and critics & audiences alike are already loving it! Families are loving it too…it fills the need that E.T., Goonies, and Super 8 once provided… kids on bikes saving the world! (And probably is about the same “rating” for language, violence, etc. Truly PG-13)
But Stranger Things also provokes good discussion about everyday life and relationships, or even deeper discussions about its naturalistic world view. Regardless, we hope you use it to provoke meaningful conversation in your home!
Episode Seven: The Bite
Steve and his crew escape the Russian basement, Mike and Eleven take another step toward getting back together, and Alexei’s time has ended far too soon as we near the conclusion of the third season of Stranger Things. Dustin’s group connects with Eleven’s group for the first time this season, sharing information so they can work together to hopefully defeat both the Mind Flayer and the evil Russians.
Responding with Love
Steve and Robin have shared several moments together during this season, clearly developing a deeper relationship through their circumstances. As they try and flush the drugs out of their system, they end up vomiting together in separate bathroom stalls before sitting and talking, exhausted and finally starting to feel a little normal again.
Steve starts to express his feelings for Robin in a third person sort of way, wanting her to know that he thinks she’s better for him than Nancy ever was. He really enjoys being around her, and expresses how he feels about their friendship. Robin pushes back a little in her response, saying:
Robin: Look he [Steve] doesn’t even know this girl [Robin]. And if he did know her, like, like really know her, I don’t think he’d even want to be her friend.
Steve: No, that’s not true. No way is that true.
Robin: Listen to me, Steve. It’s shocked me to my core, but I like you. I really like you. But I’m not like your other friends. And I’m not like Nancy Wheeler.
Steve: Robin, that’s exactly why I like you.
Robin appears to really value Steve’s presence in her life, but she believes if Steve knows the person she really was, he would reject her. In this moment it’s easy to wonder what she was thinking, as she heard Steve pour out his heart to her. Robin was about to trust Steve and prepare for the possible rejection, all while gently rejecting Steve’s clear interest in being her boyfriend.
Robin: Do you remember what I said about Click’s class? About me being jealous and, like, obsessed?
Robin: It isn’t because I had a crush on you. It’s because she wouldn’t stop staring at you.
Steve: Mrs. Click?
Robin: [CHUCKLES] Tammy Thompson. I wanted her to look at me. But she couldn’t pull her eyes away from you and your stupid hair. And I didn’t understand, because you would get bagel crumbs all over the floor. And you asked dumb questions. And you were a [jerk]. And And you didn’t even like her and I would go home and just scream into my pillow.
Steve: But Tammy Thompson’s a girl.
Robin: [SOFTLY] Steve.
Steve: Yeah? Oh.
In this moment, Steve had the power to hurt Robin and potentially end their friendship. She had already prefaced the conversation with her fears, but what happens next was a surprisingly loving response.
Steve takes a moment to process, allowing a smile to come across his face. He then playfully talks about Tammy Thompson being a dud and a terrible singer, implying that Robin could do better. The conversation morphs into a joking banter which only affirms both their friendship and Steve’s willingness to care about Robin no matter what was true about her. They laugh together before Dustin comes in and ends their moment.
It strikes me how Robin put herself out there, and Steve refused to change how he cared for her. He was being rejected in his desire to be her boyfriend, while accepting her as a lesbian.
Now at this point you might be asking are you saying that it’s okay to be a lesbian? Are you condoning homosexuality when the Bible is clear on the topic? That’s not what I’m saying. In no way am I suggesting we distort the biblical view of sexuality. What I want to focus on is Steve’s response.
At some point you may encounter a person who is going to share something deeply personal with you. It will be something that you disagree with, but it will be very real to them. They will take a step and trust you with this information.
You will have the opportunity to hurt them and damage your relationship, OR you can respond with love which is a lot like how Jesus responded.
Jonathan McKee wrote a powerful article on how to respond in love and truth when someone shares their sexuality with you, even when it conflicts with the Biblical model.
In this article, Jonathan references Colossians 3:1-2:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Paul begins the book of Colossians with the advice to “set our minds on eternity,” not thinking about temporary struggles and temptations, but basically being Kingdom-minded. In Jonathan’s article he suggests it’s a matter of prayer, not like praying before a meal or before a test, but coming before God humbly and asking:
“God, I don’t know who I’m going to encounter today, but help me to love them as You would love them. Don’t even let me respond. Instead, respond through me.”
When you are in that situation where a person shares something with you that violates your Biblical convictions, it’s not compromising what you believe if you choose to respond in love. This is what Jesus did.
In the above article, Jonathan references how Jesus responded to the woman at the well (John 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8), the sinful woman washing Jesus’ feet with her hair (Luke 7), or even Zacchaeus (Luke 19).
Let’s be people who refuse to let the choices of others keep us from affirming how much they are loved by God. Let’s seize the opportunities we will get to affirm our love for others, even when they make choices that we would not make.
When we fix our eyes on things above, we will realize what matters most is that we help that person connect with Jesus, so they can experience the incredible grace that has changed our lives.
Let’s take a little more time to discuss this:
- There were several funny moments in this episode. What is one that stood out to you?
- What went through your mind during the scene where the Mind Flayer was trying to attack the gang in the house? (I personally loved Nancy turning into Rambo with her shotgun)
- Considering their grocery store scene, which member of the gang would you take shopping with you and why? Who would be the least helpful on a shopping trip?
- What did you think of Murray and Alexei’s relationship?
- Why do you think Steve chose to share his feelings with Robin?
- What do you think made Robin choose to trust Steve with her story?
- Look again at Colossians 3:1-2. What are some ways we set our minds on earthly things when we should adjust our perspective?
- Why do you think sometimes we want to respond with truth before love?
- How can you respond to someone in love without compromising the truth? What’s that look like practically?
- In a situation where you have a friend who might be living a lifestyle you disagree with, and you’ve responded by affirming God’s love and your love, how can a person know when and if they should speak truth in love to someone?
Rob Chagdes is one of the pastors at Prairie Lakes Church in northern Iowa. In the years since he met Jesus as a sixteen year old, Rob has spent his life working to raise up the next generation to love God and invite others into His unending story. He spends most of his free time with his wife Leslie, their three amazing daughters, and their energetic dog Jedi. You can reach Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org