The Prince (Ronald) gets snatched by a dragon. The Princess (Elizabeth) wisely tricks the dragon into exercising his powers and eventually the dragon falls asleep. In the process the princess gets tangled hair, smells bad, and her dress is replaced by a dirty paper bag. She returns to the Prince, and he rebuffs her and tells her to change so she looks like a real princess. The Princess responds and says “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat. You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.” And they don’t get married after all.
Contrary, to what some might initially think, there is more to it than sheer feminism. Here are ten great lessons that can be gleaned from the story from a Complementarian, Christian perspective.
- One way or another, the Dragon’s plan is doomed.
- Arrogance and ingratitude is not to be confused with manliness. And ingratitude is a grievous sin.
- “Manliness” that does not have a place for tenderness is not manliness. The only time Ronald faces Elizabeth in the story, is with a pointing finger and a critical, accusatory tone.
- Femininity is very compatible with being strong, firm, blunt, and uncompromising. A godly women is in many ways, a strong woman (“She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong” – Proverbs 31:17)
- That man and women have distinct roles does not mean that those roles are given because the opposite gender is incompetent at them.
- Though nagging, nitpicking, and being overly critical is often culturally attributed to women, men can fall into that trap just as easily!
- Hair and clothes and bravado can be manly, but they don’t make one manly. It is one thing to appear manly, it is another thing to be manly.
- Some (many?) men need to be called bums. Or jerks. Or both. And, in some contexts, they should be told to get lost.
- Some (many?) women who are being pursued by unworthy men need to tell them to get lost.
- Not getting married to a jerk is an outcome a person seeking marriage should see as a good outcome (as hard as it may be at the time). In dating/courting with a view to getting married, singles should define success in a way that embraces the possibility of deciding to not go further and being OK with that.