Today’s post is from the Sharing God’s Story with Disney’s Frozen bible study.
This movie based bible study uses Disney’s Frozen and therefore contains spoilers.
Be sure to check out our Frozen page for more ways to share God’s story with Disney’s Frozen.
Be honest. When you heard that “only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart,” you figured some young handsome prince would come in and save the day, didn’t you? Yeah, I did too. That is what Disney does, right?
But as Disney’s Frozen unfolds we see that an act of true love is actually a sacrificial act (Agape), and not simply a romantic act (Eros).
No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)
Frozen is not the first time that Disney has played with this idea of true love.
Have you seen Disney’s version of the Jungle Book? (Spoilers!)
Thinking that Baloo the Bear had sacrificed himself to save Mowgli, Bagheera says, “Now, now. I know how you feel. But you must remember, Mowgli: ‘Greater love hath no one than he who lays down his life for his friend.’ ”
True love is a sacrificial love.
This is the way that Baloo loved Mowgli.
This is the way Anna loved Elsa.
This is the way that God loves you.
This is the way we are to love others, for this is true love.
But, as Disney’s Frozen also shows, it is not the only kind of love. Both Philia and Eros are also important and good. They should both, however, be informed by and developed from Agape love. Both Philia and Eros should grow out of, and be defined by, Agape love.
Disney’s Frozen is about two princesses, Elsa and Anna. These two sisters share a strong sisterly – familial – love. These two sisters share Philia love.
It is this love that moves the story forward.
Elsa, out of fear of hurting the sister she loves so much, locks herself in her room. This love actually drives her away when she is older. Afraid of hurting Anna, Elsa decides to simply run away from her. Anna, who misses the sister she loves so much, chases after her when she runs away.
But Philia love is not enough. Philia love should build upon Agape love. Agape love – unconditional love – is what causes Anna to chase after her sister. It is the love that will eventually lead her to sacrifice herself to save Elsa.
Philia love – brotherly/sisterly love – should build upon unconditional love.
Yes, love is also romantic. Disney’s Frozen has a lot of fun with this in the relationship between Anna and Hans. How many times did we hear someone say, “You can’t marry someone you just met!”?
Romantic love is not bad. It is actually amazing in its proper place and time. How many times does the Song of Solomon remind us, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases!”
Romantic love does have a time.
Romantic love does have a place.
But romantic love is not the only or most important, kind of love. As we have seen, there is a love deeper and stronger than romantic love.
This is unconditional love. This is the way Anna loved Elsa. This is the way that Kristoff eventually loves Anna. This is the way that God loves us.
While not the point of Disney’s Frozen, we do see the sacrificial side of romantic love. When Kristoff finally realizes that he loves Anna and that Anna loves him, he sets off to save her with “true love’s kiss,” regardless of the dangerous situation into which he puts himself.
When it comes to love – Philia love, Eros love and Agape love – remember the “golden rule.”
Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you. (Luke 6:31)
Whom do you love?
Do you love someone with Philia love? A best friend? A mother, a father, a brother, a sister or a child? A co-worker? A classmate? Do you treat them the way you want them to treat you? Do you love them unconditionally? Do you put their needs before your own?
Do you love someone with Eros love? A spouse? A boyfriend? A girlfriend? A finance? Do you treat them the way you want them to treat you? Do you love them unconditionally? Do you put their needs before your own?
Write down the name of someone you love with Philia love or Eros love. Pray for and look for ways that you can love them unconditionally over the next week. Write down and list the ways you can love them and then do it. Afterward, be sure to mark it off of the list you made. Love does. Go and do.
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SharingGodsStorywithFrozen (Frozen and the “Romans Road”)
SharingGodsStorywithDisneysFrozenandtheWordlessBook (Frozen and the Wordless Book)
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Until next time, God bless.
Simon L Smith