When it comes to relationships, many of us women have this fairytale idea about how the relationship will look, and how it will play out once we finally meet the man of our dreams. We watch movies as little girls such as Cinderella and Snow White, and develop ideas about how love and relationships should look. We see Barbie’s Dream House and we grow up thinking that Ken is the piece that makes her house become a home. However, we get a bit older and discover that adult relationships are much different. We may meet the man of our dreams but our Ken may drive a Honda instead of a Corvette because he has mountains of student loan debt. Additionally, our suburban dream house may be a two-bedroom apartment during our first few years of marriage because of financial challenges.
Suddenly that image of a fairytale grows blurry and we are challenged to face a few dragons in our relationships.
“Can I handle a relationship that’s not beautiful or glamorous to the world?”
“Do I value money or fame over happiness?
“Do I really have what it takes to stick by my wife’s/husband’s side after losing his or her job?
“Can my marriage survive a home foreclosure?”
In the blink of an eye, our fairytale has an encounter that collides with every fear, insecurity, and flaw that lies within us.
Our fairytales never include our dragons…
When we daydream about meeting our future spouse, why doesn’t that image include us revealing our insecurities to him or her? Why don’t those daydreams include us learning about their broken past or us disclosing our greatest failure? After all, we all know those things generally happen throughout the courting/dating process nevertheless, we tend to block out those experiences when imagining and daydreaming about our fairytales.
When I was a child, dragons were just big, ugly, green figures in a storybook but as I grew older they became dark secrets, insecurities and painful experiences that caused me to develop fear. They became things like bad breakups that made me fear vulnerability in relationships. They also became insecurities with my self-image that caused me to question my worth.
One of the ugliest dragons that once haunted me was in the areas of marriage and romantic relationships. Though I wanted to act as though my past experiences with infidelity hadn’t affected my heart, they did. In the back of my mind, a small part of me feared that the heart-wrenching cycle of infidelity and heartbreak would someday reappear in my marriage.
Perhaps your dragon isn’t as deep as those I’ve just mentioned but perhaps you have a dragon that you’re reluctant to share or expose out of fear of being accepted and loved.
“How will others perceive me?”
“Will they accept me?”
“Will they love me?”
“Will a man or woman want to marry me if I reveal this to him or her?”
Dragons are the dark, ugly secrets and struggles we try to disguise. They are the fears we hope are never revealed.
Deep down inside we hate living with these dragons but we aren’t ready for the possibility of not being loved or accepted by others so we keep them to ourselves. We’re not ready to risk others lowering their perceptions of us due to our flaws or past mistakes. The fears and thoughts that dragons create are endless. They either hold us captive or cause us to search for a false savior in others (i.e. a knight in shining armor, a perfect spouse, a perfect friend).
Each one of us is living with some sort of dragon(s) because we all have fears and life experiences that have hurt us and left scars. However, just as in fairytales, nothing good ever comes from living with a dragon and therefore we must slay it.
If you’re living with a dragon in your life, today is the day that I encourage you to rise up and slay it! When we’ve been held hostage by our fears for too long, nothing appears the correct way and everything is distorted because the fear blinds our vision. What dreams have you resolved to be out of your reach because of your fears? What aspirations have you allowed to slip away because of your insecurities? What dragons are you allowing to hold you back because you fear someone’s rejection or disapproval?
Bondage, fear, insecurity, doubt, shame, and guilt–those aren’t the things that God desires for your life. We have a heavenly father who conquered death, fear, embarrassment, ridicule, abandonment and every other dragon of darkness (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). He has promised us a bright future and He desires for us to live with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
For me, I was tired of feeling fearful of love and commitment. Therefore, conquering my dragon meant taking a step to look for validation in God instead of relationships. It required me to search for scriptures of validation in God’s word instead of allowing someone’s actions (or the lack thereof) to determine my worth.
Whatever or whomever your dragon may be, I encourage you to be bold enough to rise up against its shadow and declare God’s power. Declare that God is for you and not against you. Declare that you have been made in His perfect image. Declare that you are loved, accepted, and approved. Declare that God’s power lives within you. Declare that you are victorious. Slay that dragon.
There is unimaginable victory, joy, and peace on the other side of fear. Conquer your fears, slay your dragon and reclaim what belongs to you!
Today’s Prayer: Father, I pray for every man and woman who reads this prayer. You know their weaknesses and you understand their challenges. Today, I pray that you would uncover their eyes and help them identify the dragons of fear, doubt, and insecurity in their lives. Equip them with strength, courage, and boldness to rise up every negative thought and thing that seeks to rise against them. Create in them a new passion to pursue the dreams and goals that you have planted inside of their hearts. Cover them with your love and peace. Give them a new song of victory and freedom. In the name of Jesus, Amen.