I recently read that fairy tales are a literary form of apologetics because they illuminate the Gospel. After reflecting on this, I noted that most of our basic princess fairy tales follow a similar format: 1) They start with a happy world where we meet our princess. 2)Then we always meet our evil character who wants to harm our princess, usually trying to kill her by casting a spell. 3) The princess falls into the trap. 4) A prince comes and saves her from the spell. 5.) They live happily ever after.
Seeing this basic outline, it is obvious that these fairy tales are more than stories passed down. They are stories written on our hearts as they provide the outline for the Gospel. 1) God created a beautiful world. 2) But then, sin entered the world. There is a real enemy, an evil figure, and his name is Satan. He wants to destroy humanity. He has an evil plan to corrupt us. 3) And due to our fallen sin nature, we take the bait. We bite that poison apple, much like Snow White. The punishment of sin is death. 4) But we have a Savior, a prince, coming to save us from that death. Much like Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty, He fulfills the prophecy and saves us all.
Of course, after reading this, I had to watch these movies for myself to see the parallels. So up first on the blog is Sleeping Beauty. Let me just say, I did see this basic outline throughout the movie but also so much more. Also, I am not 100% sure that I ever watched Sleeping Beauty in its entirety.
So, the movie opens up as a story book. King Stefan and Queen Leah are finally having a baby after many years of hoping for a child. They declare a holiday to celebrate Baby Aurora. While all the people are paying homage to the new baby princess, we met her betrothed, Prince Phillip.
Three fairies begin to bestow a gift upon the princess. Flora and Fauna grant her the gifts of beauty and song. But as Meriwether is giving her gift, Maleficent interrupts with a curse on the child. Before her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die.
Unable to undo the curse, Meriwether uses her gift to give hope. She says that she will not die but sleep until true love’s kiss can break the spell.
*Hmm… this makes me think of that garden in Genesis. Due to a little lie, life changed as Adam and Eve knew it. A poor choice on their part, led to a curse on all the earth. Work became toilsome. Childbirth now would be painful. Sin became part of life. But worst of all, they had to leave the garden and be separated from God. Man had fallen. Humanity was cursed. God could not undo the curse. But He could offer hope. When speaking to the serpent in Genesis 3:15, God says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” He promised a child of Eve would crush Satan’s head!
Ok. Back to the movie. King Stefan lived in fear that his daughter would die. So, he had all the spinning wheels burned. But even a huge bomb fire could not stop evil. The fairies knew this well. So, they devised a plan to live as commoners without magic and raise the girl.
For sixteen years, they kept their secret. For sixteen years they lived humbly without magic. They called the child Briar Rose.
*Fear ruled their actions here. Fear caused the kingdom to destroy all the spinning wheels. And fear pushed the princess into hiding for sixteen year. Fear is a liar. As we are about to see, even hiding cannot stop a prophecy from coming true.
On the day of Rose’s sixteenth birthday, the fairies sent her out to get berries. While she was singing in the forest, Prince Phillip, (the prince who will break the spell) heard her beautiful voice. He began to pursue this voice. He had no idea, this was the woman he is betrothed to, nor did he really care.
*Guess what! The Holy Spirit is always pursuing us too!
Well, Prince Phillip and Aurora/Rose met. But they’ve met before, in their dreams. They’re in love. (After 2 minutes.)
*And if this was a blog on romantic love stories, I’d say go ahead a gag. But it’s not. It’s a blog on True Love. The love of a Heavenly Father who sent His Son to rescue you. Long before you knew He was there; He was pursuing you. On purpose.
Well, while Rose was gone, the fairies decided to use their magic to make her a cake, a dress, and clean the house. But during the preparations, a battle between pink and blue began.. And the magic shone through and up the chimney… allowing Maleficent’s pet to find the princess.
Why couldn’t they wait 24 hours? I don’t know. But then our prophecy could not have been fulfilled.
When Rose got home, she told her aunts about her true love. They, in turn, told her that she is a princess and engaged to Prince Phillip. Not realizing that Prince Phillip is the man she just met, so she was heartbroken.
The four ladies headed back to the castle to celebrate Princess Aurora’s return. But Princess Aurora was not wanting to celebrate. As she laid in bed, the fairies left her. This unknowingly also left the princess vulnerable. Now Maleficent was able to put Aurora in a trance leading her straight to a spinning wheel and instructing her to touch it. Though she hesitated, Aurora touched the needle and fell into a deep sleep.
*We too have a tendency to get sucked into worldly things and be in a sin-trance. Though people all around Aurora tried to protect her from spinning wheels and Maleficent, they apparently never told her about the curse. Would this story had been any different had they just told Aurora about the curse and taught her to stay away from evil people and spinning wheel? Well, probably, but it would miss the point.
Not wanting to tell the king and queen, the fairies put the whole kingdom into a deep sleep. But while doing so, they learned that Prince Phillip was the man Princess Aurora fell in love with. So, now they must get him to break the spell.
They rushed back to the cottage only to find that Maleficent had captured the prince. He was chained down and mocked. But the fairies managed to release him. Once they released him, he was given a Sword of Truth and Shield of Virtue for righteousness.
*Hello Armor of God! (Ephesians 6:10-18)
While Prince Phillip may be a parallel to Jesus in this story, he is not Jesus. He is fully man. He cannot do this task on his own. He is against all the powers of Hell- those are Maleficent words, not mine. The three fairies are working overtime to block traps and attacks. They guide him every step of the way.
Prince Phillip literally cannot rely on his own power or strength. The shield and sword prove to be invaluable resources as he battles Maleficent on his quest to save Princess Aurora.
*Likewise, we cannot not rely on our own strength when it comes to spiritual battles. We must put on that Full Armor of God with feet ready to withstand any attack from the enemy. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).”
Listen, sin corrupted this world because of Satan. He wants us to be separated from the perfect love of a Heavenly Father. Satan wants us to be content living on our own. He doesn’t want us to recognize that the Prince already came, died, and redeemed us!
The Gospel is a story written in your heart. It is replayed over and over again through fairy tales. Yet, our sin nature makes us believe that rescuer will come in the form of romantic love. Romantic love may be good, but it’s nothing in comparison to the love of your Creator… who made you… loves you… redeemed you… and chooses to pursue you daily!
You can have a happily ever after. You can spend eternity with your Creator. All you have to do is accept that free gift that was already given.