It’s March Madness and many of our men are glued to the TV, watching college basketball. Every year, fans hope a small school’s team will make it to the “Big Dance” – the Final Four. A Cinderella story. But the Cinderella I have on my brain involves a blue swirling dress and a prince with eyes to match.
I confess, I went to see Cinderella twice last week and, forgive me, Mr. Darcy, but I have a new favorite movie.
Since we’ve been looking at how to love our husbands well, here are four secrets we can learn from Cinderella.
1. Have courage – Cinderella’s dying mother (do we really need a spoiler alert for this plot?) exhorts her to have courage. She needed it and so do we. Loving fellow sinners is not for the faint of heart. Given how often the Bible says, “Fear not,” God knew that being afraid would be an ongoing struggle for us.
That’s why I Peter 3:6b is one of Hidden Heart Ministry’s foundational verses: “You are her (Sarah’s) daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” Cinderella didn’t feel courage. She chose to be courageous and with God’s power, so can we.
2. Be Kind – Cinderella’s mother told her about the incredible power of kindness. Isn’t kindness easy to forget in the heat of the moment? That a soft answer really does turn away wrath. That in the midst of grief or disappointment, we can still serve and bless.
Kindness is the not-so-secret ingredient of a good relationship. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 This verse is a great daily multi-vitamin for your marriage.
3. Forgiving – The Ephesians passage leads us to everyone’s favorite line in the movie: “I forgive you.” Cinderella shows the power, dignity, and freedom found in forgiveness. Corrie ten Boom said,
“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
Even when your heart is white hot with rage or hurt, remember how Jesus has forgiven you everything – everything. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower your will to forgive. I can’t promise a happily ever after but here’s an eternal promise – with a warning: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
Yikes! Let’s rehearse the line together: I forgive you. I forgive you. I forgive you.
4. See the world as it ought to be – not as it is. This is the quality that captured the prince’s heart. He didn’t fall in love with Cinderella’s (fabulous!) glass slippers. He fell for her optimistic, kind, downright revolutionary, heart. Her attitude transforms the prince and the kingdom for the better. Such is the influence of a good woman!
Which are you sporting today with your husband? Your “woes-colored” glasses that can itemize his every flaw, turning you into an evil stepmother? Or your “rose-colored” glasses that see him the way Jesus does – beloved, forgiven, and with endless potential.
- “Finally … sisters, whatever is true (about your husband),
- whatever is noble (about your husband),
- whatever is right (about your husband),
- whatever is pure (about your husband),
- whatever is lovely (about your husband),
- whatever is admirable (about your husband),
- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy (about your husband),
- think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (With a three word Mary Suzanne-addition.)
So ladies, even though Cinderella is just a fairy tale, we can all borrow a page from her book to learn how to love well. And who needs a fairy godmother when we have the omnipresent Holy Spirit transforming our filthy rags into a glorious reflection of Christ?
When people see our marriages, we want them to savor a glimpse of God’s beautiful, unconditional love … not a Grimm tale.