Fairytales and Changing People

Dear Reader,

This is a quick post inspired by Sheila’s at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum. As I said in my comments there, I too am not crazy about Beauty and the Beast, or for that matter a number of the other Disney fairytales. I would go further than Sheila does, I would like to see the Beast not change at all. He shows his kindness and care for Beauty before she loves him. As Sheila said, she learns to accept him and love him as he is. So why does he have to change?? I agree a woman shouldn’t go into a relationship planning to change her man. But if she accepts him, he doesn’t need to change, right? The Beast to prince bit at the end of the movie I really think is all about appearances anyway. She, and more importantly he himself, has already discovered that he is a prince inside. What is on the outside shouldn’t matter.

I don’t really believe that we can change people anyway. We can’t change their personalities and habits any more than we can save them. We can argue and cajole and nag. But even if we approach someone lovingly with the best arguments, only God can change hearts. Though I criticized Stormie Omartian’s book (The Power of a Praying Wife) which Sheila refers to, I do think she is right in her basic premise that wives should pray for their husbands. Too often we try to do everything but pray. We nag, we belittle, we throw away his ratty old clothes so he can’t wear them anymore. We subtly compliment other men that we want him to be like. We are very creative in how we try to change our men. But we forget to do the one thing that could be effective; we don’t pray to the One who can change them. The problem I actually had with the book was that (in the group I was in that studied it at least) it led to us constantly analyzing our husbands and seeing where they might need changed. Though the answer given was prayer, it still led to a more critical attitude. I would rather we had spent time analyzing ourselves and seeing where we needed to change.



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