Remember all those “damsel in distress” fairy tales from childhood (especially if you’re a Baby Boomer or older)? You know, like “Cinderella” or “Rapunzel” or “Snow White” or “Sleeping Beauty.” Seems there was always some harrowing experience that the damsel needed to be rescued from, and after much turmoil and some terrifying experiences with various villain types (you know, the “bad guys”), there was always a “Prince Charming” type who showed up at exactly the right time and rescued them, and they lived “happily ever after.” Many a young girl in my generation grew up on such fairy tales and dreamed of finding their own “Prince Charming” when they became adults, only to find out that most men are, well, just regular guys, and not magical fairy tale characters who came into their lives to “rescue” them.
Unfortunately, this type of thinking was so pervasive among young women then (and now) that Lee Ezell wrote a book titled, “The Cinderella Syndrome: Discovering God’s Plan When Your Dreams Don’t Come True,” (1994, republished in 2001) that combined “personal anecdotes and vivid case histories with advice from scripture . . . designed to help women burst the bubble of ‘fairy tale thinking’–waiting endlessly for the right someone or something to change their lives–and learn how to live happy, truly fulfilling lives–even in this less than perfect world” (quote source here).
If you are familiar with my posts or perhaps read my page titled, “A Little About Me,” you’ll know that I’ve never been married. I didn’t set out to be single all of my life, and I came close twice to getting married (in my early 20’s and again in my early 30’s), but I have never been “in love,” not even with those two fellows, and because I have grown up in a generation where divorce has exploded all over the place (and my own parents divorced when I was a young girl even before divorce went “mainstream” in the culture), I never wanted to marry until I knew I was in love with a man. That’s the simplest and most basic answer I give to people who are curious as to why I’ve never been married. And you should see some of the looks I get (like they don’t believe me or something). Sigh . . . .
But back to the “Prince Charming” syndrome . . . I have known enough single women over the years to know that there are definitely stress points (like turning 30, or 35, or, egad . . . even 40) where women will sometimes make very foolish decisions that include marrying someone just to be “married” because of the stigma–and the feminist movement never really put much of a dent in this stigma in our society–of being–insert loud shrieking noise here—“an older, unmarried woman.” It’s like it’s a plague or something.
As I’ve gotten older, I do get tired of having to explain myself (it’s like I have to apologize for being this age and never married) so I’ve stopped. If people can’t accept that I’ve never been married and want to think the worst (why is that anyway???), then so be it. Many times, I find more acceptance outside of Christian circles then inside them. And it shouldn’t be that way, either. Being divorced carries less stigma than being a never-married woman. Yet when I remind folks that the apostle Paul was never married, that doesn’t seem to matter to them. For some inexplicable reason, the stigma doesn’t stick to never-married men. Go figure . . . .
Well, as we all know, there is no “Prince Charming” nor is there any “Cinderella” for “Prince Charming.” There are just men and women doing the best (or maybe not the best) they can with the life they’ve been given. And the divorce rate is pretty high among Christians as well as the rest of the folks in our society (50%). So it’s pretty clear that nobody is being “rescued” by anybody out there. And we are all swimming in the same ocean.
Manuel Gonzalez was the first rescue worker to reach the 33 miners trapped for 69 days in a Chilean mine explosion in 2010. At great risk to his own life, he went underground more than 2,000 feet to bring the trapped men back to the surface. The world watched in amazement as one by one each miner was rescued and transported to freedom.
The Bible tells us of an even more amazing rescue. Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, all of mankind is trapped in sin (Gen. 2:17; 3:6,19; Rom. 5:12). Unable to break free, everyone faces certain death—physically and eternally. But God has provided a Rescuer—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Everyone who accepts the free gift of salvation offered through His death and resurrection is freed from sin’s grip and its resulting death penalty (Rom. 5:8-11; 10:9-11; Eph. 2:1-10).
Jesus Christ is the “firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). He was the first to be raised from the dead, never to die again. Likewise, all will be given life who put their faith in Christ (Rom. 8:11).
~Thinking It Over~
What keeps you from calling out to God for spiritual rescue?
Do you fear that you are too bad for God’s grace?
Read and think about Romans 3:23-26.
Through His cross, Jesus rescues and redeems.
If we are looking for any human being to rescue us from a life going nowhere fast, it isn’t going to happen. The kind of “rescue” we need is only found in one Person, God’s only Son who became a man and walked among us–Jesus Christ. Not only can He rescue us from a life going nowhere fast, but He changes our destiny and gives us eternal life once this life of ours is over. It seems especially nowadays that nobody thinks about what’s going to happen when we die. No, we’re just concerned about today and getting everything we can get anyway we can get it. We are easily deceived when we only look at life from a human perspective and the “here and now” instead of from an eternal perspective. And folks, we are going to be in eternity a whole lot longer–forever–then we ever spent time here on this earth.
Four years and four months ago I started on a journey out of spiritual lethargy that I didn’t even realize had happened until I landed in Houston to start that ill-fated job. There is so much is our culture that has invaded our view of Christianity that if we are not studying the Bible regularly and praying and really developing our own personal relationship with Jesus Christ and not just what we get from a “Sunday morning” sermon with everyone else in church, we will just coast along and get sucked into anything that comes along. We can’t have an effective Christian life if we are not actively pursuing our relationship with Jesus Christ, and that doesn’t mean praying just when we need something. It means developing a relationship with Him, just like we would with a spouse or a friend, or anyone else we really care about. If we ignore any relationship we have, it will die, and it’s the same with our relationship with Jesus Christ. He doesn’t leave us. No, we leave Him by seeking out everything our society has to offer us to make us “happy” and then think going to church on Sunday morning is going to solve the problem when we haven’t given Him any quality time at all the rest of the week and maybe not even on Sunday morning, either.
In short, it’s not about us and what we want. It’s about Him and what He wants for us–the kind of life He wants to give us–a life that isn’t selfish and self-consumed and grasping for “more, more, more” of whatever or whoever it is we think will make us happy. It’s a lie and from the pit of hell. So why don’t we believe it?
Since I started off this post reminiscing about my childhood, I’ll end it with a saying that was popular years ago. I ran across it written on a plaque I found not long ago in some things from my childhood that used to hang on my bedroom wall when I was a little girl. If you’re around my age or older, you’ll recognize it immediately. It goes like this:
“Only one life it will soon be past.
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Don’t let the things of this world blind you to the reality of eternity. Life is, indeed, short, and we never know when it will end. Don’t spend your time so focused on what you can get in the “here and now” that you totally miss out on what Jesus Christ wants to give you . . . life, real life, and not the world’s substitute.
“In the time of My favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you,
Now is the time of God’s favor,
Now is the time of salvation.”
~2 Corinthians 6:2
YouTube Video: “He’ll Do It Again,” sung by Shirley Caesar: