Advice From The “Real” Love Experts (Part 1)
Who doesn’t love Anna of Arendelle? It seems as if the epic tale of Frozen has captured an audience that ranges from age two to senior citizen. There is something about the combination of sacrificial love, passion, rejection, pain and joy that resonates in us… not to mention the songs are pretty catchy.
I feel like Anna is so much like the typical girl who crashed the couch in my youth ministry office. There were many days when the teens and I would discuss the ups and downs of romance as we shoved chocolate in our faces. Anna simply wants what we all want: love. It’s what we were made for and it drives our decisions and emotions.
Our heroine thinks she found her answer when she meets Prince Hans—a man who is seemingly charming, yet really a scumbag. It looks to me like proof that some guys truly only want one thing: to rule a North Atlantic Nordic kingdom. Seriously though, as far as the saying is concerned, some guys can only want this one thing because they believe they can achieve it! Men will avoid rejection, but if there are enough girls providing hook-ups then some guys will begin to expect it. While this obviously isn’t true of all men and women, many boys give love to get sex and many girls give sex to get love. However, using someone emotionally or physically isn’t love at all.
Our awkward princess teaches us a valuable lesson. Desperation can be dangerous, very dangerous. Although Anna’s consequence was G-rated (thankfully), her hunger for love and attention clouded her judgment of Hans and his intentions.
The devil can certainly use our desire to love to dissuade us from letting our head and heart work as a team in regard to both physically and emotionally chaste behavior. Many young women I know see a good looking young man and instantly think, “Make my wedding pinboard come true.”Anna’s real problem was that she was starving to be loved and to be noticed. She needed affection and threw herself at the first person who paid attention to her. As a result, she found herself being straight up used.
It is all too easy to get swept away in the same way and begin a relationship without knowing where someone stands on some important issues. Young men and women should know the answers to some very important questions before they emotionally invest in another:
a. Do they share your value of purity? If so, to what extent?
b. What is their faith life like?
c. Will this relationship challenge you in your faith or challenge you to be faithful?
I want to share a story of another woman, who throws herself at a man without reserve, but does so with grace. Jesus is dining at the home of the Pharisees when a woman bursts through the door and falls at His feet. She recklessly breaks a box of expensive oil and anoints Jesus’ feet while washing them with her tears and drying them with her hair. The Pharisees, ruining the moment as usual, chastise the woman and speculate that if Jesus knew what sort of woman she was He wouldn’t let her even touch Him. She doesn’t speak a word, because her knight in shining armor comes to her rescue. Jesus defends her and her dignity as He explains that “her sins, many as they are, have been forgiven her, because she has shown such great love” (Luke 7:47). As she weeps at His feet, Jesus raises her face to his own and looking deep with her very soul, He sets her free.
Was this woman reckless with her desire to love? Certainly. Was she emotional? Oh yeah. What we find here is a woman who takes her desperation for love to the right place. Jesus is the answer. In this moment, His heart must have leapt with the same power that exploded to create the stars in the Heavens. Christ is the only one who can satisfy your hunger for love. While Anna and Hans sing, “say goodbye to the pain of the past, we don’t have to feel it anymore,” Christ instead says, “I will carry your burden and suffer with you.” He doesn’t stop there. If you are called to marriage, in due time, He will also bring you a man who is willing to love you as He loves the Church even unto suffering and death (Eph 5:25). Don’t lose hope. Don’t settle.
Truly, when you choose the Lord’s love and will for your vocation, in place of desperation, then, for the first time in forever, nothing’s in your way.
Katie Hartfiel is an author and speaker dedicated to sharing the intense love of God. She graduated Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she received a degree in Theology. She served as a youth minister for seven years in Houston, where she now resides with her husband, Mark, and two daughters. In 2012, Katie released her first book, Woman in Love (available at womaninlove.org).