Gospel Lessons from Cinderella

Cinderella'sStepsistersToday when watching Cinderella for approximately the 347th time, my 3.5 year old daughter asked me about the wicked stepsisters: “Daddy, why do they do bad things?” What an excellent question! I paused for a moment, gathering my thoughts on how to communicate to a three year old the psychological factors of bad parenting, possible child abuse, lack of discipline, absentee fathers, etc, that would lead to their abhorrent behavior, but a simpler and more correct answer occurred to me.

“Because they are bad.” I told her. Proudly recalling one of my recent favorite Piper sermons.

And then a moment later, in the scene where Anastasia hits Drizella over the head with her flute, at which the Stepmother reminds them “Girls! Remember. Above all, self control!” (Parenting advice that had produced the two monsters in the first place) it occurred to me:

“And we are just like them.”

As a proud daddy, it is often difficult to place my daughter in any other part of that story than Cinderella herself. However, the more a recalled the story, the more I realized how wrong my perspective was.

Cinderella is perfect in every way: cheerfully, humbly, selflessly, and lovingly serving those who despise her, though by rights she is the one that deserves to be served! Cinderella is a sort of Christ figure in the story.

Now I’m thinking about how I can use my daughter’s absolutely thorough understanding of the storyline to help her see her need for Christ.

We are not the would-be-princess in dire circumstances, bound by some unhappy twist of fate to an undeserved life of repression. We are the stepsisters doing the binding, coldly usurping the place of the rightful ruler of our house by our selfish pettiness.

In our house, the message of Cinderella will no longer be “If you keep on believing, the dream that you wish, will come true.” The message will be that we are wicked and ugly like the stepsisters, but God loves us in spite of this he proved it by sending his Son to die for our sins and give forgiveness to all who would trust him.





6 responses to “Gospel Lessons from Cinderella”

  1. angie Avatar

    basically awesome.

  2. @mitchmajeski Avatar

    Beautiful – in the true sense. Thanks bro!

  3. Kristen Borseth Avatar
    Kristen Borseth

    I guess the Cinderella analogy only goes so far, because it doesn’t tell how Christ makes us beautiful. Even though we still do bad things- in Him we are no longer bad. He has chosen us- not so we could continue to be lowly, wretched people, but so we could be his children- a royal priesthood, a holy nation a people belonging to God. (I Peter 2:9) I think we could think of ourselves as Cinderella as long as we realize that it is Christ who has made us that way and not ourselves. Our response then would be to tell others of the great transformation He has made in us- because we are wicked and ugly without Him.

    “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so not longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God…” II Corinthians 5:16-18

    1. Matt Heerema Avatar

      Kristen, I agree. I think I might refine the thought a little bit like so: we will never be Cinderella on this earth. Christ is our Cinderella example (perfection) that we strive to be like (and will become by God's working in us!) Because of Christ's work, God sees us with through the lens of Christ: Justified. We are "counted as righteous", our trespasses (which are still real and still continue, though as we grow, fade and change) are no longer COUNTED against us. We are not actually Cinderella, we are counted as Cinderella (which seems unfair of God!)

      As you said, because of this, we shouldn't continue in our wretchedness. If we really believe this, it is logically incompatible! (Romans 6) We should seek to kill sin in our life. Repent of it. Flee from it.

      I'm sure we are on the same page here, I'd just word things differently.

      1. Kristen Avatar

        yes, I agree. We are on the same page, just word things differently. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Dan Benson Avatar

    Great post, Matt. And comment, Kristen. To add, John Eldredge would add that Christ saves us so we can be Cinderella (or Prince Charming), which God has always intended us to be.

    I love spiritual metaphors from the movies — http://snortinghorses.blogspot.com/2010/06/psycho….

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