Over the 'Princess' Message

Comment

princess

I am so over the “God’s princess” message. I (despite my love for pink things) have no desire to wear the dress, be in the tower, and wait for someone to rescue me. I know I am the daughter of the King, but what if we talked to girls in this next generation about being God’s heroine instead?

During an informal survey I conducted online, I asked women to name who came to mind when they thought “heroine.” There were many entries about mothers and sisters, tales of how we see their sacrifice and consistency. They have substance and grit and willpower, and those of us who have benefitted from those qualities are quick to give this title to those women. I already want to be in that camp.

I also heard names in my survey such as Amelia Earhart and Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa and Joan of Arc. Clara Barton and Esther and Corrie Ten Boom. Harriet Tubman and Elisabeth Elliot—the list goes on and on. What these women have in common are qualities we aspire to possess; they have stood up for who and what they believe in. (And we are taking note.)

When we emphasize being a princess, we risk the implication of greater outer beauty, while a heroine has a notable inner beauty and strength. People tend to admire the princess for her appearance, while a heroine is remembered for her actions.

Being a heroine means living what is, to you, an extraordinary life—not fulfilling someone else’s ideas of who you should be, but by making a life based on what you feel God’s stamped into your soul. My favorite heroines see their every day as an opportunity to connect with a larger world, one hungry to know there is more substance to life than reality television sells us.

This is real to me, as a woman, but even more so when I think about my daughters. I want to spend less time filtering what the world teaches and more time captivating them with a greater truth. I can’t avoid what they will see in the world, those messages they are absorbing through media and peers, but I can purpose to tell them about the grandmothers and the Corrie Ten Booms. I can remark more on their attributes than their cute outfits.

Here’s to a new generation of fairy tales.

Blessings,

Beth Guckenberger, bethguckenberger.com

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University with degrees in education, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Since founding the international arm of Back2Back in 1997, they have hosted thousands of guests on the ministry campus. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children. Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014). Beth is the author of Reckless Faith (Zondervan, 2008), Relentless Hope (Standard Publishing, 2010), Tales of the Not Forgotten (Standard Publishing, 2012), Tales of the Defended Ones (Standard Publishing, 2013),Tales of the Ones Led Out (Standard Publishing, 2014) and Tales of the Ones He Won’t Let Go (Standard Publishing, 2014).Beth is the recipient of the the 2013 International Network of Children’s Ministry Legacy Award and the Cincinnati Christian University Salute to Leaders Award for her and Back2Back’s impact on children internationally. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary and parent of nine children for illustrations of biblical concepts.