Beauty and the Beast must be one of the most famous stories of all time. It definitely was one of my favourites as a young girl — even before Disney made it famous. Recently, there has been more than one TV series, a couple of movies and many books, based on this classic, and truly timeless, tale.
So, here’s the thing:
Basically, there’s a guy who has hideous hair so he hides away in a dark castle. There’s a girl who’s obsessed with libraries and talks to furniture. They meet. They look at flowers. They dance. They live happily ever after.
That, or, there’s this version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCPZ_BLe6hE&index=1&list=PLA8VHLKYzqTsFjSPhBylFpDbGaRaz6aem
My summary is of course spoken in jest, but my blog today is really about something much deeper.
My illustrious relationship-experience is, as you would know if you’ve read my other blogs, fairly limited. That is, until two months ago at least.
When Tobie and I first started dating, I got this word from Holy Spirit: “relationships is one part buying a boat, and nine parts navigating the high seas.” And, after just two months, I can tell you that this is absolutely true! I’ve been challenged in so many ways — good and bad — and it has contributed to my growth as individual, and our growth as a couple, both in the spiritual, and the natural.
My boyfriend is quite the nerd, and even before we started dating, we’ve had this analogy of dragons in our relationship. I’m a great fan of dragons myself, and I’ve used this imagery in my blogs often enough. Dragons can be big, scary, intimidating, grumbling, angry beasts, or they can be graceful and strong reminders of Glory.
I think dragons and surgery have a lot in common. A dragon with a sore tooth will understand the pain grinding away at their happiness (I have never met a sore-toothed-dragon, but I imagine it will be unpleasant), and the necessity of surgery. A surgeon in turn understands that, in order for the wound to heal completely, the surgery is sometimes most painful when it cuts to the core to take out all the rot that has festered.
So, yes, sometimes we have things in our lives that challenge us — these so-called “dragons” — but if we never step out of our comfort zones, how will we ever get to meet the Surgeon? And yes, of course I’m referring to the Ultimate Healer: Jesus Christ.
Scripture says that by His stripes we were healed. In other words, through Jesus’ death and resurrection we have eternal life, but through His wounds, we have healing. And, this healing of course encompasses the physical, the spiritual, and the emotional (or the Soul, as us plebeians call it).
On 26 May Tobie and I decided that we wanted to date with the purpose of marriage. This may sound a bit deep-end, and admittedly, it is! Relationships are never easy, and the thing is, they never come with manuals or recipes. Of course, stepping in to this relationship, both Tobie and I realised that we would have to deal with each other’s dragons, and we agreed that we’d do it together. And, so-far, so good. (Phew!)
Tobie is one of those people who manage to see directly into your heart, past all your fire-walls and anti-virus-what-nots, and then just calls the dragon out, challenging it to show its face in the Light. The thing I appreciate most about this Godly-man is that he’s always ready to slay the dragon he has called out. Not in a forceful you-have-issues-you-need-to-deal-with way, but in a I-love-you and we’ll-work-this-out sort of way.
Admittedly, I was not the one to come up with the brilliant Beauty-and-the-Beast imagery — it was my boyfriend. He has this whole theory about being a beast that was afraid of the dark and how I saw the Light inside of him and called it out (a testimony for another day perhaps?) and I was just like, let’s talk about your fabulous library, and have a candle-lit dinner ending in a dance.
Okay, enough jokes. But, seriously girls (and you men, ’cause this goes both ways) if I can dish out one spoon-full of relationship advice it’s this: call out the gold in one another. Yes, I know we speak different love languages, but words of affirmation and acts of service that back them, are always appreciated. No-matter if it’s a romantic relationship or not.
So, this is my challenge for you guys: find some-one who can hold your hand when you go to the Surgeon. Accountability-partners and mentors play a vital role in the Christian discipleship journey. And yes, you may not need counselling every day, but ALL of us need someone who checks in on us every now and then, asking how we’re doing, what we need prayer for, and etcetera. And, here’s the challenging part: once you’ve started to grow, and have victory over a certain area, you need to be that hand-holder for someone else. And, if you’re not into the hand-holding, then just pick up your sword and shield, and storm into the battle with a victory cry on your lips, ’cause I’ve read the last chapter of Revelation, and it says YOU’VE WON.
My friends, may your lives be filled with the beauty of friendships and relationships that point you toward Christ. May you take the time out to read — to enter the Library of Heaven where you will learn from the Holder of All Knowledge and Wisdom — and study Scripture. May you find Life — not only in an attempt to avoid the last petal from falling — but also meet the One who created and personifies it. May you find LOVE by learning that YOU ARE LOVED — He loved you first, and by knowing Him you can learn to love others.May you take the time out to dance — yes, with loved ones, but also with Holy Spirit who is the ultimate romancer, and the lover of your soul.
And in the midst of the battle, may you know that you are not alone.
I’m praying for each of you.
Love in Christ,
P.S. Tobie’s version of this can be found at http://goldenguild.wordpress.com or http://goldenguild.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/to-love-another/
P.P.S. If you know any dentists that are willing to take on sore-toothed-dragons, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org