Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Rapunzel Taught me About Spiritual Bondage

Rapunzel is my favorite Disney princess. 

She and I have a lot in common. We’re both creative people who like to read books and bake pastry. We have long hair and are skilled with frying pans. I like that she plays instruments. Rapunzel isn't my favorite for our similarities, though. She's my favorite because out of all the princesses, she taught me the most about overcoming anxiety.

If you haven't seen Tangled, there are two important things you should know about Rapunzel. First, that she has the heart and ability to build an entire world out of a really crappy living situation. Second, that she’s been captive in a prison tower for her entire life and has no idea what the outside world is like.

This is one of my favorite scenes from Tangled. In it, Rapunzel chooses to take a risk for freedom and exits her prison tower for the first time.

That's cool, right?

This scene represents a really special time in my life. When I was fifteen, I went through an intensive spiritual course called The Seven Steps to Freedom in Christ. It was a program that helped free me from crippling anxiety. My tower was fear and I'd been stuck inside it since before I could remember. This scene was what it felt like to finally let it go and be free.

I'm sharing this with you because I know we all have towers. Pieces of spiritual bondage that have kept us captured for months and years at a time. Things like anger, bitterness, anxiety, and depression. The good news is that those things aren't hopeless things. Jesus is the answer and He will set you free.

Overcoming anxiety and bondage has been a journey for me. One that fights against demons and relapses, but gets easier as the days move on and my trust in God strengthens.

Before we finished the seven step program, my mentor and friend sent me this scene. Rapunzel finally has first-hand experience in how awesome freedom actually is. Yet, despite everything she's experienced, she's tempted to go back. Again, she weighs between freedom and bondage.


Something that's interesting about spiritual bondage is that while it keeps you in definite and obvious chains, it starts showing you how to adjust to those chains. It even starts to make you believe that your bonds are comfortable and better than actual freedom. Rapunzel is a creative princess. To cope, she paints the walls within her tower and decorates with candles and pies. She makes captivity a nice place to be.

...until she goes outside.

If we want to be free of spiritual bondage, we have to walk away from our comfort zones and our coping mechanisms. We have to recognize that unknown freedom is better than familiar bondage. 

One last thing, and it's about Mother Gothel.

The biggest tool I found to help me overcome anxiety was separating the lies of the devil from the truth of Christ. I believed a lot of lies! The devil is a sneaky foe, and often he weaves his lies within the truths we believe about God. This is exactly the way Mother Gothel keeps Rapunzel captured, too.

Posing as someone who loves her--posing as something good, Mother Gothel uses the same mixture of truth and lies to keep Rapunzel from ever experiencing true freedom. When Rapunzel finally seeks out the whole truth, Mother Gothel has no more power over her.

This is why stories are my favorite. Tell me about a spiritual truth you've learned through a fictional book or movie!



  1. OH MY GOSH YOU'RE BRILLIANT. I love this movie, and Rapunzel, but I had never looked at it this way before. Thank you for sharing! What a beautiful post!
    <3 Lissa

    1. You are so sweet. A good friend and I have been talking about this for a long time (she was mostly the brains behind it). But I'm glad I finally wrote it down!

      Thanks for reading!

  2. This is rather timely as I tend to struggle with anxiety. I always thought it was just my lack of courage or some character flaw till I read about anxiety disorders. It's interesting how defining something or viewing something differently can change everything.

    I've always related to Lucy in Narnia, especially in that scene from Prince Caspian where Aslan reprimands Lucy for not following Him, even if it meant going alone. But there are so many truths I've viewed more clearly through stories.

    1. I used to struggle with anxiety too, and it was ideas like this that helped me be free from it. I always knew about Biblical truths, but they became so much more real to me when they were put into stories.

      Aww, that's so sweet. Thanks for sharing! I'll have to pay more attention to Prince Caspian next time I read it. :)

  3. This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for showing me Rapunzel in a light I hadn't seen before; I really needed to see this. <3

    1. I love Rapunzel's story so much, and I'm so glad it was helpful! Thanks for stopping by! <3