A friend shared this picture on Facebook right about the time Frozen came out. I have now watched the movie, and it tweaked my brain into thinking about some very interesting concepts. For instance: being independent and without responsibility doesn’t constitute freedom; true freedom comes with relationship and loving. But back to the point of what this image says. The whole idea that women don’t need men actually started with Brave. Deviating from their well-known fairy-tales, Disney’s message in Brave was, essentially, girl power – women are powerful, men are fools, and we don’t need each other. (Yes, I was really disappointed, to say the least.) There also seems to be this idea floating around that fairy-tales are “out” because they just aren’t applicable to “real life.” But let me tell you that those are lies, and when I say that, I am completely serious. Let me tell you why:
Fairy-tales are straight from the heart of God.
Now, before you think, “That is ridiculous,” allow me to explain. There is nothing more “fairy-tale” than the Bible, the story of God’s passionate love for His people. The idea of this fairy-tale love, this perfect, selfless, eternal love, is woven throughout the Scripture. That is in fact the very foundation of God’s Word. You think I am kidding? There are whole books of Scripture devoted to portraying that love – Hosea and Song of Solomon, for starters – and God Himself is love (1 John 4:16). By definition “fairy-tales” are something intended to deceive people, albeit in a pleasant way. Why would fairy-tales be deceiving? Because surely life can’t actually be like that….Or can it? Fairy-tales are based on ideals, not on what is but on what should be and could be. That is how God sees the world He made. He sees what is but He longs for what should be, for His best plan to be manifest in the earth. As Christians, we are enabled to see not only the one-dimensionality of life as it is but the fullness of life as it should be. This is our view into eternity through the flawless lens of God’s goodness. That is why recognizing the Fairy-tale Heart of God is so important.
Still, that is not the only facet of God’s Fairy-tale Heart. Our so-called “fairy-tales” survive because, like any other lasting story, they have at their core a thread of truth. Fairy-tales picture ideals for the roles of men and women, but I want to tell you that those are not just make-believe; they are part of God’s plan for every man and woman He has created. Understand that we are not looking at the damsel in distress and the cocky hero as models; we are looking at the beautiful princess and the mighty warrior, because they display God’s heart for the roles of men and women. This is not just about “falling in love” or some romantic fluff. This is true for every man and every woman. The gift of nurture and loveliness is ingrained in every daughter, the gift to empower the men in their lives to be strong and the women to walk in the gifts that bring the life and love of God into everyday situations. The gift of strength and adventure is ingrained in every son, the gift to fight with boldness the battles that need to be fought, guarding the women in their lives with their strength and reminding the men to be strong and courageous.
I do not write this to promote fairy-tales, nor do I write blithely, pretending that every aspect of man-made fairy-tales is good for us to emulate. Rather, I write for this reason: Every daughter is a lovely princess and every son is a mighty warrior. To deny that is to deny the deepest God-breathed questions and longings of our hearts. Do women have strength? Of course. Can men be nurturing? Most certainly. But this is the deep attraction, the reason men and women need each other, not simply romantically but as friends, as brothers and sisters in Christ. God created men and women to each bear a unique part of His image, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, we should delight in it and use that knowledge to build one another up. (Not sure about this? Check out the books Wild At Heart and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge – they are eye-opening and will change the way you look at the sons and daughters around you and the way you see yourself.)
Why, then, I asked, is the fatal lie being spread that men and women don’t need each other? This is what God whispered to my heart:
“People are rejecting My Fairy-tale as a deception.”
Can you feel the heart of God breaking in those words? My own heart broke when He said it. We are giving in to the lies and the brokenness; we are giving in to the pain of ruined relationships by putting up shields around our hearts and declaring that the masculine and the feminine have no place together, that we stay strong by staying separate (though we prefer the word “independent”). But this is the fear talking; all we are doing is attempting to avoid experiencing further pain. As Wesley told Buttercup in The Princess Bride, “Life is pain.” Fairy-tales are not meant to deny that life can be painful but rather to show us what should be and can be. Pain allows us to see new depths of love. If we deflect the pain, we deflect the love as well. Let us embrace with abandon the Fairy-tale Heart of God, who has lavished His matchless love upon us, His Beloved Bride. He is alluring you; can you not hear?
“The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)