“And they lived happily ever after…”
It is not until we are grown, ladies, that we realize that the most famous quote of all time is also the biggest lie of all time. In a way we are fed a female version of “soft porn” from a very young age. Those words may seem a little strong, but let me explain. From childhood we are led to believe that romance is the key to a happy life. We watch Disney film after Disney film, chick flick after chick flick, sometimes we even get sucked into the world of romance novels. No matter the medium, the message is the same. Life sucks, but add a “prince” and all our problems disappear. As fast as you can say “bib bitty bob bitty boo,” we are living happily ever after.
You see as members of the female gender we are much more driven by our emotions. Whereas men are driven romantically by visual stimulus, our drive is stimulated by stories of romance, heroism, and “love.” Most women live each day pining away for their “prince,” because they have boughten into the lie that when he arrives their problems will be solved. They believe that, like Cinderella, they will be swept away to a far away kingdom where they will be pampered, romanced, and loved for the rest of their days.
However, when they finally arrive to this far away kingdom they begin to realize that the “prince” that “rescued” them is not at all what he first appeared to be. In fact he has more qualities of a frog than a man. In their disillusionment their hearts are crushed. Then begins the ranting, the complaining, the “man bashing.” The hurt they feel spills out and their dreams slip further and further away.
Many of you may think that I am being cynical. Others may think that you will be the exception to the rule, and some of you know exactly what I am speaking of because you are currently experiencing this disillusionment.
So please read on. Give me a few moments of your day, it may just save you a lot of heart ache.
The first step in protecting your heart is installing a stronger filter. Disney movies are not bad and neither are chick flicks. However, they may be doing damage to your love life. They are doing your husband, or future husband, a huge disservice. These flicks are leaving false imprints on your heart. Imprints that any man would be hard pressed to match. We would be hurt to be compared to a Victoria Secret model. No woman likes to feel that kind of pressure to be physically beautiful. However, we put that kind of pressure on the men in our lives every single day, insisting that they fill the shoes of “Prince Charming.”
Just as we love to hear that we are beautiful just the way we are, we need to be aware that we should be encouraging, rather than discouraging the efforts of our men. They need to hear, ” I appreciate you and I am proud of you.” They need to know that we see their valiant efforts. Instead of verbally lambasting our men behind their backs, we need to be encouraging them to their faces. We would be crushed if we heard about a conversation our men had with their friends about how we needed to lose weight or stop eating like a pig.
We need to come face to face with our own faults and the “pornographic” images that we entertain. Even when these images come from a PG Disney film. Only in seeing the potential in a frog will you ever discover the prince inside. It is our role as “help mates” to encourage and call out the hero that lives inside of our guys. YOU have that power. It is time we began using our power for good and not for harm. For healing, not for wounding. Only then will we begin to see the transformation that we so deeply long for.
The truth is we often refuse to put in any effort ourselves. We take one look at the frog before us and we begin dreaming of a prince. We begin looking around us and wondering how so many of the women in our lives found their “prince charmings.” But if you really ask them, you will find that their prince didn’t start out as a prince. You will discover that she simply saw the inner potential and decided to lend him her transformative power. And through team work they are working towards a realistic “happily ever after.”
It is time ladies. It is time to let go of the mirage and face reality. I speak this from the heart. You can keep throwing those “frogs” to the curb, but eventually you will realize that the prince you were looking for was inside one of those amphibians.
Each time I write I try to to pour grace and understanding into my words. I make the upmost effort to leave no loose ends. So let this last paragraph serve as a tight knot. In saying all of the above, I am not saying that you can just grab any Tom, Dick, or Harry off the street and transform them into a prince. Some men, by choice, will remain frogs for the rest of their lives. So it is up to you to discern what kind of frog you are committing yourself to. So choose wisely. Look for the right ingredients in a your “frog”: Character, humility, love, patience, kindness, willingness to learn, self sacrifice, understanding, and most importantly a love for God. There are more, this is simply an example list, but you get the gist.
You have the unique ability to transform a man’s life for good or for bad. It is time to take that power seriously. Don’t be in a rush, ladies. It is better to have no one than to be stuck with a frog for the rest of your life. But also remember that most men start out as frogs, and just need a little love, understanding, and support. Let’s extend more grace and begin addressing our own misconceptions, it may just lead to a prince.