Finding God in Cinderella

As I arrived at the theater to see Cinderella, I thought it would be a great movie because of the trailers, reviews, and epic movies Disney always makes. Of course, the film didn’t let me down and I enjoyed it very much. There’s so much right with the movie. Throughout there were some feelings and scenes that had me thinking. I saw God’s grace and mercy in so many instances during Cinderella, more so in some parts than in others. Let’s go over the first one. Be aware though, there are spoilers for the movie and even the ending.

 

The Church and Christ

When you look at Cinderella, all you see are rags and poverty. Seeking an escape from her step-mother’s horrible treatment, Cinderella flees into the woods and meets the Prince who pretends he’s not a prince at all. Later, she realizes he is the crown prince, but he explains that he didn’t want her to act differently if she knew he was royalty.
Christ sees us as His bride, the church. Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and we are His church that He is to receive without blemish (Ephesians 5:27). The Prince took Cinderella just like she was, poverty and all. He wasn’t interested in how she could benefit him financially, but he loved her just as she was. God loves us in the same way, and we are received into His family just as we are. He loves us even while we were/are sinners, and nothing will stop Him from chasing after us so we can receive His Son’s forgiveness of our sins (2 Peter 3:9).

 

Have Courage and Be Kind

This is the motto of the entire movie. Cinderella’s mother gave this phrase to Cinderella before she died, and Cinderella repeats it to herself many times to get through her trials. It’s encouraging to see the power of words, and how saying them to ourselves brings them to life and becomes a part of us. As Christians, we can use this theme to remember to speak God’s promises over our own life and see their power manifest.
I knew there was a Bible verse that mentioned courage, so I looked it up and found these two that matched the film perfectly.
Joshua 1:9
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Deuteronomy 31:6
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Now, I do have to challenge something in the movie did that I don’t agree with. God calls us to be courageous and strong, but Cinderella was completely afraid and discouraged because of her step-mother and step-sisters. You don’t see her challenge them except for one scene, but for a long time she just puts up with it without a word.
As Christians we are called to be kind, but that doesn’t mean to be stepped on or ridiculed. Yes, we will go through trials because of our faith in Christ, but there are times that you need to stand up and defend yourself. He has given us the strength to walk out our purpose no matter who or what is in our way.

 

I Forgive You

The last words Cinderella gave to her step-mother are, “I forgive you.” Now, they may only be three words, but after watching the movie you know that they are so powerful Duchess Tremaine dropped to her knees. In a short phrase, Cinderella emptied her heart of any bitterness she had towards her step-mother.
We are offered forgiveness through Christ. Everyone has sinned, and we are all looking for a way to overcome our wickedness, lies, and other transgressions we know we have all committed. Sin isn’t a secret, and we all know what is wrong and what is right. Nobody needs to tell us, but what many of us don’t know is that we can be forgiven. You either receive that forgiveness through Jesus Christ who paid for all your sin on the cross, or like Cinderella’s step-mother, you decide to reject it and walk away which is what she did.
Cinderella, on top of being an amazing movie and a step forward for Disney as a company, has a strong Christian message believers can learn from. I hope that you not only enjoy this movie, but see God’s mercy, strength, and forgiveness behind the story.

 

Are there any other themes I’ve missed from the movie you can point out? What do you think of these themes?

Michael M.

Michael is a child of God, husband, teacher, business owner, anime lover and a life long gamer. When not conquering distant world's via console, he can be found reading, watching anime or Netflix, writing, or just enjoying life as a geek in the city of Miami. He aspires to travel to Japan and possibly...never leave.

4 Comments

  1. Jackie on April 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Yes! Cinderella is one of my favorite princess because of her kindness and integrity. However, I’m not in agreement about one thing; I don’t think Ella was like a fragile doll letting herself be undermined by her stepmother, she could have left, and she was about to when she met the prince! I think that instead she stayed and endured her stepmother’s treatment because her father loved her and she wanted to love her too, in spite of her behavior and attitude.

    Jesus also teaches us in the Bible to turn the other cheek and be continuously forgiving of others because He forgave us. I don’t think that turning the other cheek means to lie down and allow yourself to be treated like a dog, but rather to exchange someone’s worst attitude for your best one – and Ella certainly did that! She believed in being kind when her step mother didn’t deserve Ella’s kindness, but she forgave her and served her anyway. I love that she left her childhood home by forgiving her stepmother. I felt that she was gracious, kind and unwavering in her values throughout the film. All in all I was impressed with the movie. Not to mention is was visually stunning.

    • Michael M. on April 17, 2015 at 1:33 am

      Hi Jackke, thanks for the comment 🙂 Yes, Christ teaches us to turn the other cheek, true, but don’t get a one time offense where we forgive someone to continually being treated like garbage and insulted constantly. Jesus Christ never gave us a model to be treated like dirt and stepped on, then say “I forgive you”.

      I believe that we will always be treated badly for our faith, and even though Cinderella did the right thing she never stood up for herself, not even at the end. She kind of did when her stepmother questioned her….but that was it. To me, and this is just my opinion not that I’m 100% correct and your 100% wrong, is that as believers we need to stand up for injustice and not let the devil or people he puts in our way to mistreat us because they are full of hate. Some people, sadly, are just nasty and do NOT want to change, so we need to get away from them at all costs.

  2. silasgreen on April 15, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Great article! I just watched this movie with a couple friends and thought it was great. I love fairy tales, and it was nice to see a film that wasn’t some deconstruction of the genre or a “grim and gritty” reimagining, but a story told with sincerity and love for the story itself. Those lavish sets and costumes were amazing, too. And I had the same reaction you did about Ella just putting up with abuse. When she finally did say something back I found it pretty satisfying, but the “I forgive you,” was beautiful. Those words are how we know she really did get a happy ending. 🙂

    • Michael M. on April 17, 2015 at 1:27 am

      Thanks silas for the comment 🙂 Yup, beautiful and amazing movie.

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