Recently, I began watching a series on Netflix called The Crown. As someone who rarely watches TV and even cancelled her satellite service over a year ago, this was a big deal. My kids will tell you that I never watch TV. I feel there is always a better use of my time than to sit in front of a television. But I’ve always been intrigued by royalty, even taking electives in college to learn more about them, so this was one show I was excited to watch.
As a young girl, I greatly admired Princess Diana. I viewed her as the epitome of style, elegance and grace, and she embodied what it meant to be a lady. She was quiet, yet strong, and she held herself with dignity and respect. Every fiber of her being exuded class. This is the type of woman I wanted to be.
I’ll never forget dressing up as Princess Diana for a sixth grade school project. I wore a gold dress and a lace shawl, and my mom curled my hair and let me wear makeup. I don’t remember what I spoke about or what information I included in my project, but what I do remember is how I felt – like a real, true princess.
It came as no surprise that once I began watching The Crown, I was hooked almost immediately. To watch those who were born into royalty or, as in the case of Queen Elizabeth, had circumstances that led to them inheriting the throne, I couldn’t help but think about a couple of things that had already become truths in my heart: 1) we teach others how to treat us and 2) I am a princess, too!
You see, after realizing I had allowed so many people to treat me with disrespect throughout my life, I became aware of just how much truth there is to the fact that we do, indeed, teach others how to treat us. The years of abuse I accepted in my first marriage is proof of the fact that I allowed this treatment to continue. I did that. I allowed it to happen, because I did not demand that it stop. For seven years, I taught my husband that he could continue verbally and physically abusing me without any real consequences for his actions. And that is exactly what he did.
It was up to me to teach people in my life how to treat me, but I accepted what I felt worthy of receiving. For years, I viewed myself as “less than” or “not good enough” or “unworthy” or any number of other negative labels. I had a tainted view of my own value, of my own self-worth. I allowed friends, coworkers, and even family members to treat me with less respect than I deserved, and I quietly accepted this mistreatment.
A couple of months ago, I had a conversation with one of my accountability partners about self-worth. Mark and I discussed how my life and my choices were affected by having had low self-worth for so many years. That led to the topic of other women and how so many of them believe the same lies I used to believe. They don’t believe that they deserve better, so they allow the mistreatment to continue. Mark’s reply was, “How awesome would it be, if we could intervene BEFORE life happened to these women?” Yes, how awesome!
My daughter recently sent me a screenshot of a text conversation between one of her friends and her friend’s boyfriend. In this text, the young man had written words that showed exactly how little he valued this young lady. Some pretty harsh, mean-spirited things were written to her.
Erin wrote below that screenshot something like, “Mom, if a guy ever treated me like this, you would kick his butt, right?” I laughed when I got her message and had to carefully consider how to respond. I’m not in the habit of kicking anyone’s butt, but she did a good job of making her point. I simply responded that she would not be allowed to date that young man and that it is her friend’s responsibility to teach young men how to treat her; what she puts up with is what she will get. Thankfully, my daughter knows her value. Her friend, on the other hand, is already showing others that they are allowed to mistreat her.
Unfortunately, most women view themselves as my daughter’s friend views herself and not in the same regard as Erin. In fact many women don’t know any better, because they have been taught, and actually believe, they deserve the treatment they receive. Women are taught by how society – through television, movies, and magazines – treats women, and some, like me, begin to devalue their worth because of bad relationships. Sadly, others even learn this lie from their own parents.
In The Crown, Queen Elizabeth accepts nothing less than respect from everyone she encounters; however, it didn’t start out that way. When she first became queen, she was intimidated by others who tried to manipulate her for their own agenda. She found a mentor of sorts in a professor who reminded her of who she was, and so, once she stepped into her destiny, believed her worth and accepted herself for who she was, things changed. She behaved differently and in turn others treated her differently.
What about you? I challenge you to take a moment and consider how others treat you. Think about what you were taught about your value, how you teach others to treat you, and how you truly deserve to be treated. And then, take it a step further.
Think of yourself as royalty. What type of treatment would you accept from others if you were, indeed, a prince or princess? How would you carry yourself? How different would your conversations be? And then think about your interaction with others. What types of behaviors would you accept and what behaviors would you disallow? How would you feel about yourself?
I’m here to tell you that you don’t just have to think of yourself as a prince or princess, because you are one. Any of us who call on Jesus as our personal savior and who truly believes in Him are already members of the royal family. Not just any royal family, but The Royal Family. We belong to the highest kingdom of all: God’s kingdom.
Believers are referred to as children of God several times in the Bible. Here are just a few examples:
But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” – Matthew 9:22
And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” – Mark 2:5
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:12-13
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious; anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. – 1 John 3:10
Jesus is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. The greatest. The highest. The most significant of all. And WE are sons and daughters of the one true King.
As a Beloved Daughter of the King, I AM a princess.
When I dressed up as Princess Diana for that middle school project, I truly felt like a princess, if even just for one day. I stood a little taller, I walked with more confidence, and I spoke with more authority. I felt like a classy, elegant, beautiful young lady, and I acted outwardly how I felt inwardly. Funny how that happens.
Once I finally made the connection that I am a princess every single day of my life, not just for one day as part of a school project, I finally began to accept nothing less than the life and the treatment my earthly father AND my Heavenly Father would want for me: a life full of love, joy, peace, respect and dignity. I don’t have to play dress up to feel worthy of adoration. My Father, the King, adores me. He adores His daughter. And that makes me a princess.