Tag Archives: fairy-tales

The Flipside

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This past fall I posted a blog entitled, “The Truth About Fairy-tales” in which I wrote about the Fairy-tale Heart of God.  I mentioned the wonderful way that He created men and women to find relationship (friendship, romance, etc.) with each other.  This is really a continuation of those ideas.  Through some recent goings-on in my life, the Lord has been showing me, very gently, my own inherent need for relationship – and the needs of others for the same thing.

When I use the term “relationship,” I am talking about all kinds of relationship.  We need romance as well as friendship.  We need to care for others and also be cared for.  We need light-hearted fun as well as wise counsel.  As human beings who bear the image of our Creator, part of our design is that we both need and crave relationships, for they are the sweet intimacy in which we share our hearts and lives with the people we are closest to.  And do you know that both the needing and the craving for relationship are good and healthy?  It is only how we choose to meet those inherent longings that can lead us to dark places and down paths we never intended to walk.

Do you feel fragile, ready to shatter at the slightest pressure?

Do you feel fragile, ready to shatter at the slightest pressure?

Just like everything else in creation, relationships have been tainted by the ugliness of sin.  Relationships often show signs of sin’s brokenness because they are the product of imperfect people.  Abuse, manipulation, deceit, neglect, betrayal of trust – these are most hurtful when they are perpetrated by the people we love, the people who should take care of us.  When we are hurt in relationships, we begin to shield ourselves, walking wounded.  Left to our own devices, we often become angry, bitter, or jaded.  We welcome self-pity and despair into our lives.  And then, most dreadful of all, we allow that brokenness to seep into our spirits and eat away at our God-given identity.  “Unloved, unwanted, broken, hopeless, useless, used, filthy, ashamed, guilty, dissatisfied – never whole” – these are some of the malicious lies that stain our lives when we let brokenness define us.

We then put up intangible walls to protect ourselves from greater hurt, not realizing that we are simply permitting our wounds to fester as we dwell in unholy, unnecessary agony.

Do you feel hollow, strong on the outside but empty and dead on the inside?

Do you feel hollow, strong on the outside but empty and dead on the inside?

Or perhaps your life has been fine and you’ve been surrounded by decent people.  You keep telling yourself that you should be content, that so many other people have faced deep hurts that you never had to experience.  Yet even as you tell yourself this, you feel hollow – something is missing, but you aren’t quite sure that is okay.  In spite of every relationship you have, nothing feels like it is truly enough – nothing feels quite satisfying.  You may think that Shakespeare was right: “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all” – that it is better to be wounded than simply to live and love shallowly.  Then, of course, you might feel bad for thinking such a thing, as though you were wishing pain upon yourself.  My question is, why should you have to be hurt deeply to love deeply?  Must others crush us in order for us to experience the fullness of love?  Where is the balance?

In truth, I think we all carry both a bit of brokenness and a bit of emptiness.  We find the flipside of fairy-tales in this paradox of longing and self-preservation.  When we feel broken or empty, we make desperate choices, seeking to meet our needs for relationship through unhealthy means.  Oftentimes this involves looking to people – or to one person – to meet all of our needs.  We create false visions, hoping that we can attain the wholeness we seem to be lacking: “If only I had a [mother, a husband, a best friend…], then I would be fine.”

We reject that which is lovely and right about fairy-tales, and we cling to that deceiving notion, that fairy-tale discontent that whispers, “If I just had…I would be whole.”  We forget about the endless Love Story written for us by the Fairy-Tale Heart of our Lord and look to people to be the source of our wholeness.  The problem with this mode of thought is that it is both selfish and, ultimately, self-destructive.  Still, our hearts yearn for the intimacy of relationship, and the desire to know and be known is so overwhelming that we are compelled to sate it.

Surely there must be a better way.

Be courageous and allow yourself to find healing in relationship, first with the One whose love is limitless and then with the beautiful, imperfect people around you.

Be courageous and allow yourself to find healing in relationship — first with the One whose love is limitless and then with the beautiful, imperfect people around you.

Whether you are wounded or simply feel hollow, the only thing that can bring restoration is our loving Savior, Jesus Christ, who bore every sin to ransom us from an empty, shattered existence.  We still need and long for relationship, but we cannot meet it through people alone.  No one person could ever love us enough or give us enough or care for us enough to make us whole.  No person, regardless of how much that person tries or wants to do so, can fully satisfy us.  And no matter how many people you gather around yourself, they can never give you all that you need.  The truth is that we cannot adequately love or be loved until we know the love of the One who first loved us and gave His life for us (Romans 5:8).  Because of sin’s curse, we need to first be healed – made whole – by Jesus in the area of relationship so that we can enjoy the happy human interaction that we so desire.  We cannot have the healthy relationships that we were created for until we find our wholeness in Jesus, who will never fail us and whose presence will never leave us.

Jesus is calling you into His Fairy-tale.  Will you let Him romance you today?

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The Truth about Fairy-tales

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thought about Disney's FrozenA 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)

heart“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”  (1 John 4:18)