The world says, "If it feels good, do it." But that is not God's way. One of the greatest problems with being led by your emotions and doing things because of how you feel, is that feelings cannot be trusted!
It’s amazing how you can read the bible and always find something new, or maybe something you haven’t noticed before. This time, for me, it was what I assumed to be a contradiction. Matthew and Luke both tell the story of the centurion, however one says he personally came to Jesus and the other says they never even met.
There I was sitting in this church blind and deaf, when all of a sudden there was a bright whiteness all around me and, stepping out of the brightness, was an even brighter figure. He began to speak to me. I remember it was like a whisper, but extremely loud and it made my insides shake. He said, “I am calling you..."
I remember the first and only time I used that line on a girl. It was November of 1988. We were just leaving the Perkins Restaurant off Merle Hay Road. I stopped her in the doorway, put my hand on the glass over her head, leaned in close, and with the best movie star voice I could muster I whispered, “I’ll treat you like a princess.” It did not illicit the response I expected. She gave a small laugh, ducked under my arm, and walked away. Perhaps it was the cheesy way I said it or the fact that my best friend drove us on this date because I didn’t have a car.
I have learned a few things since then. The obvious is that being poor with no car and a few cheesy lines didn’t stop that girl from marrying me, but more importantly, I had no clue what it meant to actually treat a girl like a princess.
If I could go back in time to that night, the first thing I would do is give myself a smack on the back of the head. Then I would teach myself what it really means to treat my wife like the royalty she is. The first paragraph in our Kingdom Kids’ manual says this, “We believe that every child that comes to Jesus is royalty, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. So every child at Heartland is the King’s son or daughter which makes them a prince or a princess.”
This does not just apply to children. This is for you as well. When you come to God with a repentant heart, you are not only forgiven, you are now a member of the royal family. He is not just God to you, He is now Father and you are Son or Daughter. Think about that for a moment. You are a joint heir.
Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:17).
So, take a moment to put the word Prince or Princess in front of your name. Let it roll around in your mind for a while, then let it sink into your heart. When you truly understand your identity, then your expectations for who you are, what you are and how you should be treated rise to a new level.
Can you imagine what would happen to you if walked up the President’s daughter and began mistreating her? You would be on the ground and in cuffs in no time. Why should it be any different when you are treated in a way other then who you are, the son or daughter of a King.
When I look at the amazing woman Father God gave me, I don’t just see a wife, a mother or a woman. I see the daughter of the King who set me free. I wish I could say I’m never a knucklehead with her or don’t need that smack on the back of the head anymore, but I can finally say I know what it means to “treat her like a princess”.
If you are a young man or a young woman who is reading this, or you’ve been married for a while and being treated like a prince or princess is not on the table, I want to tell you what I would have told my younger self. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all His righteousness, pursue a passionate relationship with the Father, work on yourself and your identity as royalty.” When you know what a prince or a princess looks like, then you’ll raise your expectations of how one should be treated.