The Frozen Heart: Post-it Note #127

This was originally shared at a meeting for pastor’s wives a few weeks ago.  Although the audience was specific, it has much broader application, reaching to any person in the church.  If you’ve ever been hurt by another believer, then I think you will find it hits very close to home.

The Frozen Heart

How many of you have seen the movie Frozen? I have 4 daughters so I can practically quote it by heart and can definitely sing all the songs.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, here’s a little recap.

In the movie Frozen there are 2 sisters. One is just an average girl. But her parents are royalty so she’s doesn’t have a “normal life”. She’s alone most of the time and doesn’t have anyone really close to her to talk with or share her heart. Her name is Anna.

And then there’s her sister Elsa. Elsa has this incredible power. She can freeze anything she touches. It’s dangerous and it can hurt people and the more emotional or more hurt she is the greater her power.

Well Elsa gets into some trouble and Anna tries to help her. But in the midst of their argument and conversation Elsa strikes Anna with her power. The problem is that it strikes her heart. And this causes Anna to begin to die inside. Her heart begins to freeze little by little and she will become completely frozen unless someone can un-thaw her heart. And only an act of unselfish love will thaw her heart.

So fortunately there’s a guy who just happens to love her, Kristoff. So she thinks he can save her. And she looks to him to do that. He’s desperately trying to get to her and she’s trying to get to him so that he can give her true loves kiss (it’s a Disney movie after all).

But in the final moments before she is completely frozen (turning into a statue) she sees Kristoff coming to save her, but she also sees her sister, Elsa, about to be killed by a villain. And in that moment,  instead of using her last bit of strength to save herself she steps in front of her sister just as the villain’s sword comes down.  Just in time to save her sister, Anna turns into a frozen statue and the sword hits her and the sword shatters.

Her sister is saved and she is frozen forever.

Except it is a kid’s movie and there’s always a happy ending.  Her very last act was one of unselfish love for her sister. She sacrificed herself so that Elsa could be saved. So what happens? Her unselfish love melts her heart.

So what does that story have to do with being a preacher’s wife?

Anna – that’s us. The ordinary girl, who gave up “normal” when we said “I do” to the preacher. We live in extraordinary circumstances, but what we really want is a close friend, someone we can trust. We want to be loved.

But then…….there’s a sister. There’s always a sister. You can change churches, but there’s still a sister. One with the power to freeze what she touches. To bring hurt to the people around her. And the more she has been hurt herself the more power she has.

And one day this sister crosses your path and she strikes your heart. With her words. With her actions. With her criticism of your children or your husband. And in that moment, your heart begins to freeze. Little by little it becomes as hard as stone.

And so, we look to others to help us with our pain. We want to be free of our frozen hearts, but we just don’t have the strength we need to make it happen. So we become hard and frozen. A statue. Cold.

Girls – this is the real deal………..As a preacher’s wife you are always in danger of a frozen heart. There is always a sister (or brother) who can strike you in the heart.

So what’s a girl to do?

For all our knowledge and Bible studies and all of the theology we have been taught, it comes down to this – be like Jesus. When He was struck, what did He do? He said, “Father forgive them….for they don’t know what they are doing”. – Luke 23

Is it possible that the one who has struck your heart…….that they doesn’t know what they are doing? Do you think they really and truly know the hurt that has been caused to you or your family? No. And they may never know because that’s not how it works, right? You bite your tongue. You swallow your pride. But is your heart cold? We know how to play the part and look right on the outside, but it’s of little consequence to God. Do you have a frozen heart?

I love this verse:

Ezekiel 11: 19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart

How do we get a tender heart? We get it through unselfish love. By not withholding our love from the one who hurt us. Here is Paul’s take on unselfish love in his letter to the Corinthians:

15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me. – 2 Corinthians 12:15

As preacher’s wives we have given our lives to our husbands and to ministry. We forget that much of that is done wielding a sword. But the battle isn’t with the sister or brother who hurt us, but with the enemy being glorified in their actions.

If someone has hurt you so badly, then there’s a very good chance they have been hurt in some terrible way in the past or they are caught in a sin that they cannot see. Perhaps the most effective way to guard against or to un-thaw our frozen hearts is to do battle for the people who hurt us.

Romans 2:4: Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

That’s how God treats us. And you might be the kindness that would turn a sister from her sin. Is it easy? Nope. But the answer is found in prayer. Prayer changes hearts.

Sometimes that heart is yours.