My family is inundated with girls. On my dad’s side, out of fourteen cousins, only two are boys. On my mom’s side, even though we cousins seem evenly split between the sexes, it is a roost ruled by aunts, with my three uncles coddled as princes by my mom and her gaggle of sisters.
Boys were so prized by my family and my culture, that early on, I felt compelled to be the son that my parents never had in order to appear that I had value, worth, and something of substance to contribute to society. In life, I played the role of tomboy well—I fished a lot, collected tadpoles, challenged boys to race me, and didn’t mind getting dirty. I hated makeup, dressing up and anything associated with being “girlie”. As I grew older, my best friends were guys, and I always looked to them as role models to develop my worldview, my sense of humor and my intellect.
One of these guys turned out to be my husband, who I just idolized (and still do) for his razor-sharp wit, sarcasm and the fact that he is “wicked smaaahhht” (as they say in Boston). From a biological perspective, I think I saw his brilliance and just knew that needed to be incorporated into my gene pool (hey, get your mind out of the gutter!). In him, I thought I was getting everything that I lacked as a “girl”—the skills needed to problem-solve, be analytical and the ability to take life by the metaphorical “balls”.
The interesting thing is, even though I spent my whole life trying to be a boy like my husband, the one thing he taught me was how to be a girl. Not just any girl, but a princess—even a queen. Yes, we fight, get on each other’s nerves and want to kill each other at least every other day, but through it all, my husband dotes on me hand and foot. Despite the fact that he may be a total neanderthal at times, he makes me elaborate breakfasts on the weekends, does my laundry (and really well, to boot—he hand-treats stains, separates whites from colors, puts delicates in a separate load and even folds my underwear!) and tucks me into bed by singing me to sleep.
My whole life, I looked down on other girls for wanting all of this and yet, he gave me the one thing I thought I abhorred…the right to be and feel like a princess.
Of course, you would think that I would bask in all of this royal treatment, but I actually fight it tooth and nail (even though I secretly love it), especially when it comes to how he treats our daughter. While I am hell-bent on raising a “tough girl”, he is just as determined to turn her into daddy’s little princess. For Christmas, I bought her a Black and Decker toolset, and he buys her a library of princess fairy tales. I buy her clothes in earth-tones and camouflage, and he buys her pink tutus and tiaras.
This causes me to jump all over him and scream, “Princesses don’t cure cancer! Princesses don’t care about math and science! Princesses don’t become world leaders! Princesses only care about their looks and boys!”
And, what does he say in retort to my daily rants?
“Every girl is a princess, whether she realizes it or not, and she deserves to be treated as such.”
While the feminist in me just cringes at such a remark, the girl who is the daughter of the King of the Universe sees some spiritual truth in this statement.
While I lose tons of street cred in writing this (and you will never hear me utter this out loud with my lips), I think he might be right. Not in the Disney princess sort of way, but in the way that only God can see His creation, His church—as a bride, beautiful, majestic and flawless, worthy of honor and praise.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Ladies, the truth is, you are princesses and you deserve to be treated as such. If you don’t see yourself as a princess, you’re not seeing yourself as God sees you. When you look in the mirror and can only see the junk-in-the-trunk and the not-so-perky boobs, you denigrate the image that God has of you as a woman—as a princess. If your boyfriend or husband cannot, will not or does not treat you with love, honor and respect, he desecrates the image that God has of you as a woman—as a princess.
While you may never change how your family, friends or your significant other perceives or treats you, you can change how you perceive and treat yourself. If you see yourself as anything less than the royal priesthood that has been bestowed upon you, you turn your back on all of the blessings, opportunities and riches that God has planned for your royal destiny.
You are a princess, and you deserve to be treated as such. You may not realize it and others may not realize it, including your own husband and kids. But, guess what? God realizes it, and He has from the second He laid eyes on you.
Embrace, treasure and cherish that you are royalty.
Your carriage awaits, princess…
10 Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say.
Forget your people and your family far away.
11 For your royal husband delights in your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The princess of Tyre[c] will shower you with gifts.
The wealthy will beg your favor.
13 The bride, a princess, looks glorious
in her golden gown.
14 In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king,
accompanied by her bridesmaids.
15 What a joyful and enthusiastic procession
as they enter the king’s palace!
16 Your sons will become kings like their father.
You will make them rulers over many lands.
17 I will bring honor to your name in every generation.
Therefore, the nations will praise you forever and ever.