If you know me offline (or online) at all, you’ll know that I absolutely love anything and all things Disney. My laptop background and phone case are of the Disney castle, and my laptop decal is of Snow White. I have an entire wall in my bedroom dedicated to Disney portraits, and I have countless Disney memorabilia from Walt Disney World.
If anyone is a Disney fanatic, it’s me. For years on Halloween I’d dress up as various Disney princesses, and dream about a Prince Charming. I’ve been thinking about my wedding since I was five. Hopefully I’m not alone in this. I know I’m not alone in this. I better not be alone in this.
I think, though, while my love for Disney—and frankly, my love for fairytale in general—stays its course, I can’t deny that the common ending is quite prevalent: finding “true love”. While you can argue that Disney movies are female-centric—the movies themselves make the ‘princess’ the main character—the resolution gives us the moral that the ultimate happy ending is life with a romantic partner. Snow White, Cinderella, Jasmine, Megara, Aurora, Mulan, Ariel, Pocahontas, Tiana, Anna, all end up being paired up with a man as an integral part of the “happy ending”. Some exceptions, of course, are Elsa, Merida, and Moana.
Disney isn’t the only culprit, obviously. Movies in general invent romantic pairings between the most unlikely of people (Breakfast Club’s Claire and Bender, anyone?). However, you can imagine my eye-roll when I went to see Pacific Rim, (can anyone else find it hard to believe that was six years ago?), Inception, Transformers or any action-based movie to find an overly forced love plot. I just want to see some cool explosions.
I bring this topic up not to make fun of the romance stereotype, but to point out how harmful this trope has shown to be. It’s become obvious to me that being indoctrinated with films where a woman’s happy ending is with a man (or, reversed, a man’s happy ending is with a woman), has created two incredibly unhealthy mindsets. While this is particularly aimed towards young women in their single season, it is still definitely relatable for men. Here goes.
Number One: Your Value Comes From How Desirable You Are
“I want him to like me.” “I need to be cute enough today.” “I can’t eat/do that, because I can’t risk not looking attractive.”
Sound familiar? They likely do. But these are not thoughts from God; they are thoughts from the one who is trying to destroy you: Satan. Your value comes not from other people (whose feelings are as fickle as the wind). But it does come from the One who created you, as referred to in countless times in the Bible, including Psalm 139:13–16:
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
You are made whole only through Jesus Christ, because He is the One who made you, period. Who else can love us as He does? Your partner could never know you as intimately as the Lord does; they didn’t create you—when they love you, they are merely admiring God’s creation. Remember that.
Number 2: The First Is The Only
The second unhealthy mindset is that our first love will be our only love. This is certainly the case for some, and I am truly happy for these people for their luck of the draw. However, while lovely, this is not the case for every person. It’s quite common to not marry your first love.
What I’m saying is—just because you have a crush on someone and they return your affections does not mean that they’re “the one”. Don’t let the devil trick you that just because someone is interested in you, that they’re the right person for you to marry. Don’t get hung up over finding “the one” at 16, either. So many people haven’t found their lifelong partner early on in life, myself included. You are not a failure for not doing so, and you have not been forgotten.
God is in the process of crafting you into the person you need to be before you find your spouse. If you’re looking for guidance, take a look at Proverbs 31.
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Are you virtuous? Are you capable? Are you hard-working? Or do you rely on your beauty and charm instead? Do you seek a God-fearing man but aren’t willing to change yourself? What will you bring to the table in a relationship? Many people need time to ripen fully into the Christ-warrior they were meant to be. It’s okay if you’re not there yet. Take this time to focus on God’s word, prayer, and surround yourself with Christ-like people.
I feel like this is also a good time to address a related problem us sensitive ladies may have. We’re getting real here, girls. Some of us—perhaps not all of us—may feel like there’s this emptiness inside us that we must fill. Inside every woman is the desire to be wanted. And since our culture tells us that we won’t be happy without a romantic relationship, we are trained to believe that this void can only be filled with a romantic relationship. In fact, this is where our sense of worth comes from: the void is filled when we feel worthy.
But here’s the thing.
A man has already loved you, and he still loves you. He loves you so much that he literally gave his life for you. He suffered through beatings and tauntings and nails through his hands and feet for you. Yes, you with the frizzy hair. Yes, you, who finds it hard to find jeans to fit your hips. Yes, you with the lisp. With the acne. With the facial hair. With the scars. You were known and so incredibly loved since before you were even born. Isn’t that extraordinary?
So take a step back and breathe. Open that dusty Bible on your shelf. Ask God what He wants you to do next. You are already complete. You do not need to be someone’s missing puzzle piece. You are not the question, the answer, the problem, or the solution. You are a woman of God: the only man you need to wait on is already yours, and you are already His.