With the recent release of Frozen on DVD and the current weather battle for spring to emerge, I have considered how we can thaw out in our family relationships. Like so many others, we bought the DVD of Frozen, though we had not seen it in the theater. We sat down over a school break and watched it. It is an amazing film filled with wonderful animation and catchy songs. While I enjoyed the movie, I was disturbed with the treatment of Elsa, as I am sure I was supposed to be. How often do we, unintentionally and with good reasons, treat our family the way she was treated? The royal parents had a difficult time on their hands to be sure. Elsa was different from others. She often found herself in uncontrollable situations, such as the one that got her imprisoned in her room. In order to end winter in your family her are a few key terms to remember.
During a play time, Elsa unfortunately hurt her sister trying to help her sister. The parents reacted poorly and isolated her from that moment. She was not allowed to be who she was designed to be. There are four basic ways a child will learn to express themselves in school: Academics, Arts, Athletics, and Agriculture. Your child will excel in one of these areas and possibly show interest in others. If we are going to train up our children to be all God made them to be then we need to allow for expression to come naturally. If we isolate them in one area because it is the most comfortable for us then we lose out on the full potential in our relationship with each other.
Elsa felt all alone. She had parents. She had a sister. Yet, she felt alone and unloved. Critically, she also felt unlovable. This can happen in our family too. Every person is wired by God in a unique way. Gary Chapman has made a career out of developing 5 Love Languages for every possible situation. Every family member will have a stronger need for one over the others. If you try to love them all the same then you will fail. Each person is different. Siblings have the same genetic code but will need different ways of feeling loved and supported.
Elsa was put away because the parents did not know how to deal with the reality of their daughter. Instead of taking an interest in what she could do, they locked her up. Expanding our horizons is healthy. Involve them and yourself in a variety of options, even the ones you may not enjoy. During the process, watch to see you finds their niche. Sometimes no one will, but the process of learning together builds the bonds of family.
You might be experiencing an eternal winter in your family right now. Everyone is on edge and grumpy. Maybe there are broken relationships. Honest and sincere love will melt the ice that surrounds the hearts and minds of those who have been hurt. One action is a fairy tale for sure, but consistent acts of love will allow spring to bloom in your family again!