I had no clue what I was stepping into when I went to the screening for Disney's Frozen in January. I hadn't seen many previews for Frozen (I don't watch a lot of TV) and I honestly thought it was one of the Tinker Bell movies. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
The opening scene of Frozen begins with Anna and Elsa as little girls; I turned to my sister-in-law and said, "Those are my girls." I instantly fell in love because Anna pronounced AH NA was exactly like my daughter Anna! The laugh, the hair, the dramatics. I almost cried; it was that sweet. Elsa, on the other hand, was very much like my daughter Alexis. Blonde hair, older sister, a natural leader. Of course, after seeing Frozen in theaters with my daughters, they both claimed the girls as their own, and on the way home sadly proclaimed, "I want to be Elsa" and "Mom, can you call me AH NA" which I did for days.
What struck me the most about this movie was the Biblical lessons that can be so easily taught using the film. While Disney claims that they do not make movies to promote ideas or teach lessons but to entertain, every story has a message, and Frozen's message about fear is one that is hard to miss!
So with that in mind, I would like to share my thoughts on some of the "lessons" from Disney's Frozen that you, as a Christian mom, can use as talking points after viewing this movie together with your children. You can get Disney's Frozen on DVD on March 18th.
This post will center around one of the main themes of the movie; fear. There are other elements that I may write about, but this one was the one that stuck out the most for me.
After accidentally striking her sister with ice, Anna's parents rush her to Pabbie (the grandfather troll) in hopes of healing her. This is what Pabbie says after removing Anna's memories of Elsa's power: "Elsa, your power will only grow. There's a beauty in it and also a danger. Fear will be your enemy.”
In my opinion, fear is one of the main elements in the movie Frozen. Not only Elsa's fear but also the fear of her parents. Elsa and her parents are afraid of her power, so they decide it's best to remove Anna's memories of it, and they lock themselves away from the outside world so no one will find out about what Elsa can do. The fear of Elsa's power (or gift) leads to Elsa isolating herself from everyone, including her sister. Anna is left alone with no one to play with, grow up with, or guide her. At the same time, Elsa is left alone to learn how to deal with what she now views as a curse and not a gift.
Her power does indeed grow, but her ability to control it does not. In one of the most climactic scenes in the movie, we see Elsa lose complete control of her power in front of everyone. After losing control, Elsa runs away from everyone to continue living in isolation, yet considers this freedom. But being outside of the castle walls doesn't make her free because she has unleashed a frozen nightmare on the kingdom itself and has hurt the person who loved her the most, her sister Anna.
Fear in Frozen? There's a Bible verse for that!
Well, let's take a look at what the Bible has to say about fear:
* For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim 1:7
* Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
* fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
* for you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father! Romans 8:15
I believe we can use the message in Frozen to teach our children about faith and fear. There are plenty of things to be afraid of in this life, but we can trust that God hold's us in his hands. His perfect love for us can indeed be trusted. We know that God desires to prosper us and not to harm us, and he has a plan for our lives that is filled with hope for the future (Jeremiah 29:11). Now, as we know, this doesn't mean that life is easy, but instead that God uses the things we may consider as curses to grow us, and change us into the image of his Son (Romans 8:29). We also know that all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Again, not happiness, a life of ease, but our good based on his will, which is again transformation and sanctification.
So the main point to take away from Frozen and our lesson on fear for both our children and ourselves is this: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
God loves us perfectly, so when we are afraid, we can take those fears to God, and trust that whatever is happening in our lives is in His hands. We don't have to run away, we don't have to isolate ourselves, and hurt those around us. We just have to trust Him with our lives.
I love that the movie ends with the idea that "true love" can "melt an icy heart", because in essence isn't that exactly what the Bible teaches? It's God's "true love" for us His perfect love, that turns our stone cold hearts into a tender garden where love can bloom. Elsa was selfish and rebellious (a lesson for another day), but the sacrificial love of her sister melted her heart (this can easily be missed because Anna is the one who gets turned to ice, but it wasn't Anna's heart that was frozen, it was Elsa's).
So before we make a mess of things the way Elsa did, we can pray and seek God to show us what we need to do with our fears and worries. Elsa couldn't see the beauty in her gift because she was consumed with fear of what the damage that gift could do. Maybe we need a change of perspective today. Maybe this lesson applies as much to us as it does to our children.
Fear has wreaked havoc in my life, and I have learned so much from it. So my question to you is this; what are you afraid of? What fear in your life has become bigger than the God who created and formed you? Will you trust Him today or will you run away? Will you model for your children what perfect love can do to fear? This is my prayer for all of us as mothers today.
I hope this has encouraged you today. God Bless!
Check out the second post in this series here: Biblical Lessons From Frozen: Bitterness