[Originally published in the Monroe News on May 26, 2023]
My nearly 3-year old daughter is already in that Frozen movie phase where she has fallen in love with Elsa and Anna. When we get in the car its “Daddy, turn on Elsa songs”. When we turn on the TV its “Daddy, Elsa shows”. I’m fairly certain we’ve watched every bit of content Disney+ has to offer regarding Elsa and Anna. She loves it. Me? Well let’s just say there’s only so many times you can hear a particular kid’s song or watch a show before you get a little tired of it. Or worse, the song is forever etched in your consciousness playing on replay throughout your work day.
There is one song though, whose words actually strike a really interesting chord with me, perhaps you might like it too. At a critical moment in the first Frozen movie, Anna and Kristoff seek the help of Kristoff’s troll friends who can help save Anna. Their bid for help moves into a musical number called “Fixer Upper”. The song delves into the topic of true love. Its actually pretty good. The first half of the song the trolls sing of the faults and foibles of Kristoff. Here’s an example:
So he’s a bit of a fixer upperBut this we’re certain ofYou can fix this fixer upper upWith a little bit of love!
It is a really positive message teaching us to use love in answer to the faults and shortcomings we all face. What a thought if we could not only teach our kids, but also as adults learn, that the secret ingredient to healing and growth in all our human relationships is love. The song climaxes acknowledging that not just one character is a “fixer upper” but that we all have our brokenness. Here’s a key set of lines:
True love brings out the best!Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upperThat’s what it’s all about!
I’m not sure if Disney is intentionally putting forth a Christian message or not. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt on this, they’ve painted a great picture of what true love is all about. It is about recognizing the “fixing” we each need but yet loving the other person unconditionally despite the brokenness. Yes, true love is what it is all about.
Only let's not stop there. Now that we've come to talk about true love and its essence we need to go one step further. If we really want to understand true love we need to hear what the scriptures say about it. We need to see how Jesus has defined it and given it to us. Jesus exemplifies true love. Jesus is true love.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 13 we hear this about love: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” When we talk about true love with God’s Word in mind we see that true love is an unconditional self-sacrificing love. If you really want to love somebody, put them and their good first. Treat them as Jesus treated others.
Sometimes Jesus showed this love “by not rejoicing in wrongdoing”. He would love others by calling them out from their sinfulness with a bit of tough love. At other times Jesus would show love by “rejoicing with the truth” that everyone is lovable and deserving of love even in the depths of despair and brokenness.
If you consider the fixer upper words on true love from the Frozen song one more time I think you’ll find we can ultimately translate their meaning to the wonders of what Jesus did on the cross. Here is the line I have in mind: “True love brings out the best! Everyone’s a bit of a fixer upper That’s what it’s all about!” Let’s remember, we are all “fixer uppers”. We all have fallen short in our sin. God’s response was the ultimate act of true love in offering up Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus’ true love in His death does bring out the best as we receive forgiveness, mercy, compassion, love, and more. That is what it is all about!
To God be the glory.
Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church.
You can contact him at email@example.com