Fairy Tales and the Gospel

Written by Anita Kelly Couch

On June 20, 2021

Fairy Tales and the Gospel — what an oxymoron, right? What could the two possibly have in common? It may surprise you to learn that the plot structure of both is the same!!! Just think about it. Everything is good, then something terrible happens. As a result, a great battle of good and evil is fought to make things right. And just when it seemed all was lost, a hero comes to the rescue, and through some act of tremendous sacrifice on our behalf, life and love were restored. You see, Disney did not create the concepts of a palace, a Prince, and a kingdom, nor did he invent this storyline! As odd as this may sound, fairy tales are borrowed right out of the pages of Scripture, and this is the Story that is written on our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

What was it about fairy tales that fascinated so many of us as children?
Why were we so enthralled with the ideas of a king and kingdom, a prince and princess?
Why did those words, “Once upon a time” and “They all lived happily ever after” seem to resonate so deeply within us?

As children, we could not have articulated it, but I believe our hearts were being drawn into the majesty and awe of a kingdom that was very much like the one we were originally made for! No wonder Jesus said, “….To be a part of My Kingdom, you must dramatically change your way of thinking…and you must look at the kingdom of God with the wide-eyed wonder of a little child!”(Mt.18:3)

As children, we had not yet confronted what C.S. Lewis called the “watchful dragons” — dragons that carefully guard our hearts, monitoring what affects us — dragons like intellect and reason, rationalization, and even religion. Lewis believed if you could strip Truth of its “stained glass and Sunday school associations” and cast it into an imaginary world, you could then “perhaps steal past those watchful dragons and see [truth] for the first time in its’ real potency.” Lewis certainly accomplished that in The Chronicles of Narnia; didn’t he? A good fairy tale does that too! A good story captivates our heart’s attention and points to but does not necessarily define truth for us. As a result, we experience truth in a way our hearts understand!

Andrew Peterson, a Christian musician and novelist said, “If you want someone to hear the truth, you should just tell them the truth. But… if you want someone to LOVE the truth, you must tell them a story.” No wonder Jesus told so many stories! And…what were those stories usually about? That’s exactly right — a King and a Kingdom!

Yes, the Gospel is most of all a Story — a beautiful, breathtaking Love Story of an incredibly kindhearted King who has chosen a Bride for His Son and He has gone to extraordinary measures to see them united again where they really will live happily ever after!

That is why I created the Ever After Encounter. How our hearts need to be reawakened again to magnificent wonder and true astonishment of God and His Story and there we may find the hope we need to carry on. Oddly enough, fairy tales may just help us do that!

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