The Princess Warrior
by D.J. Hughes © 2010
One of my daughter’s favorite movies is “The Princess Diaries.” In the film, an average American teen discovers that she is the heir to a royal throne – a kingdom currently being ruled by a long-lost relative. Beneath her frizzy hair and clunky glasses, this young girl is really a princess, complete with castle and crown.
The movie was a major box-office success as it struck a chord with nearly every girl’s secret wish: to be a princess. So what does it mean to be a princess?
Simply put, a princess is someone born to prominent parents. And the perks of being a princess are palatial. Besides expensive clothes and designer purses, a princess typically doesn’t have to work very hard at anything – except being pretty – and even that probably comes easily. And that’s to say nothing of the inherent fairy-tale love story wherein a prince rescues the fair maiden from some mild form of distress – such as taking a seriously long nap – as in the case of Sleeping Beauty.
Being a princess – what’s not to love? It’s easy luxury. But on this earth, it’s reserved exclusively for the elite. Thankfully, such an elite status does not exist in God’s Kingdom, for Jesus spoke of His Father’s open invitation. Everyone, rich or poor, are invited to dine at His heavenly banquet (Luke 14:15-24).
In Scripture, anyone who has surrendered her life to Christ is a daughter of the King. Thus, by virtue of His Kingship and our adoption, then we too can call ourselves a princess in a very real, spiritual sense. We are joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
Despite this truth, the word princess bears such pansy-like connotations that I am reluctant to consider myself one. I much prefer the metaphor of spiritual warrior to that of spiritual princess. I would rather see myself as strong and capable and independent. Yet, this desire for self-sufficiency can, if taken to an extreme, become a stumbling block. As a follower of Christ, I must beware of falling prey to the kind of secular mindset that says I can be the master of my own domain – that I can, with enough hard work, control my own destiny.
This way of thinking negates the cross. No matter how self-sufficient any of us become in our own estimation, we will always need a Savior.
Our need to be rescued is a very real one. But it is a deeply spiritual need. The enemy knows this, so he tries to distort our desires and then deceive us into believing that another person could be the solution to our innermost problem; hence, that a man could rescue a hapless princess or a damsel in distress. But only God can rescue, redeem, and restore. This is why Jesus came.
But when Jesus came to this earth the first time, He did not meet the standard expectations of a King. Rather, He rode a donkey and washed people’s feet. The Son of
Man came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
(Matthew 28:20). Likewise, if we are born again, then our true calling as the King’s daughter is to serve. Being a servant, though, hardly resembles our idea of royalty.
For instance, even when a young Esther was suddenly catapulted to earthly princess status, her purpose lay beyond the posh and pampered lifestyle of the palace. She was called to serve her people – even at the risk of her own life.
Many of us today may not feel like a princess. We can look around us and see lots of other people enjoying fancier homes and more elaborate lifestyles. In some ways, being a princess today is a little like the awkward girl in the Disney movie – out of place and very much alone – lost and unsure in this world about who we are. But when we surrender our lives to Christ, He lavishes his great mercy upon us. He removes every stain and wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27). He exchanges our ashes for his beauty (Isaiah 61:4). Instead of designer clothes, we receive a garment of praise – instead of a tiara, a crown of life.
As members of this sisterhood of princesses, we must represent a Kingdom altogether different than the one Hollywood typically portrays. We must clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12). And instead of being waited upon, we must serve with the same attitude of Christ, who did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).
Taking the very nature of a servant. That is the call.
But one day the trumpet will sound. Scripture promises that Jesus will come again, only this time He will be riding on a white horse (Revelation 19:11). And when He does, his followers will return with Him (Revelation 17:14), which means that being a princess and a warrior is not mutually exclusive; rather, in Christ, they are one and the same.
D.J. Hughes is a daughter of the King. She grew up attending church, but when she was an awkward teenage girl herself, she met Christ in a very personal way. On a mountaintop at summer camp, the Word challenged her to know God deeply, and not be content with just about knowing information about Him. Today, she devotes her time to serving the people that God has placed in her life: her husband and three kids, her friends and church family, and those in her community. One of the ways she feels called to serve the Body of Christ is through writing and teaching the truths of God’s Word. You may reach her at: www.thequietquill.blogspot.com