Conceal don’t feel.
This is the mantra of the Snow Queen, Elsa, throughout every stage of life. That is, of course, until her climactic musical number in the Disney phenomena, Frozen. At this moment, the Queen lets her listeners know that the “perfect girl is gone” as she boldly proclaims a new mantra: “no right, no wrong, no rules for me, I’m free!”
As a mother of young children, I have heard the song “Let It Go” roughly a million times in the last few months… and found myself singing along. However, when we break into the meaning behind this moment, we find some controversy. Many individuals have embraced the song as an anthem for breaking free of the societal norms surrounding our sexuality. Even LGBT groups have embraced Frozen as a celebration of the rejection of the philosophy of, “conceal don’t feel” in order to be “free” with their sexual identity.
Now, I don’t know what Disney’s intentions were here. However, as a sociology nerd, I find it quite incredible that a film could be welcomed both in the Christian market, for its emphasis on family and sacrificial love, and simultaneously be celebrated by so-called freethinking movements.
The amazing thing is that this film unites both sides on a truth that we can agree on: the method of “conceal don’t feel” doesn’t work. When it comes to same-sex attractions, there must be another way. Clearly, our decisions on our sexuality rely heavily on our emotions and desires. This is true of those who are single, married, addicted to porn, struggling with fidelity in marriage, those who experience heterosexual attractions, homosexual attractions, and so on and so forth. We are all tempted. The key to success in the realm of purity is to figure out what to do with those emotions.
When we attempt to conceal rather than feel our passions, like Elsa, it generally backfires. Obviously Elsa’s struggle wasn’t sexual, but I think we can all relate to her interior battle in some capacity. I certainly experience this in other areas of life. I find myself stressed and anxious about any number of issues and attempt to shove my struggle in for the sake of perfectionism. Every time, without fail, I am eventually pushed over the edge and find myself unleashing an icy blast of emotion on whoever is unfortunate enough to be nearby.
This can also be true in our struggles for purity. If you find yourself struggling with a sexual temptation, I encourage you, don’t shove it in. Elsa’s expression of her decision to “let it go” includes a resolution to turn away from the “good girl you always have to be” and embrace the mentality that the “perfect girl is gone.” What she misses is her opportunity to turn to the Perfect Man (Jesus). Elsa’s plan doesn’t work! In her attempt to find freedom in isolation there are severe consequences. Our sins, even the ones committed in private, are no different. We, like Elsa, must remember that although we may think our choices don’t harm others, this is never the case.
Wherever you are in your journey to embrace authentic, Christian chastity, this doesn’t have to be your story. In those moments of temptation, don’t conceal or shove, but pray… pray as often as you need to… even if it’s a lot! Make a conscience decision in the moment to call on the Holy Spirit and give it away to Him! Turn from the invitation of the culture to take the easy way out through giving in and instead let it go to the one who can give you true freedom.
As I outlined in my previous post on Anna’s struggle to regulate her emotion, Christ Himself wants to be your solution. Before knowledge of the ripple effects of her choice, Elsa sings that, “the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.” However, this fearlessness was short-lived. We cannot conquer our fears by running away. They will not magically disappear. In contrast, the Psalmists sings, “In danger I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free. The LORD is with me; I am not afraid.” (Ps 118:6-6)
What is the solution for Anna and Elsa? An act of true Love. This is the key for each and every one of us: to turn to the one whose name is Love and whose act of true love has unfrozen countless hearts for the past 2000 years. We have the invitation to surrender to the arms of He who died simply so we could let it all go. Rather than living in the kingdom of isolation, I encourage you to say yes to the one who promises the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt 10:7). He is the Father who keeps His promises, and He never disappoints. For freedom Christ has set us free! (Gal 5:1)
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).