“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.”
Hans Christian Andersen – The Ugly Duckling
Hans Christian Andersen, poet and author from Denmark, may have published The Ugly Duckling back in 1843, but this classic children’s tale is just as beloved – and just as needed – today as it was back then.
Why have generations of parents adored this children’s tale, often pulling it off the shelf when the time came for bedtime stories? Along with being a clever story that children are easily able to grasp, The Ugly Duckling reinforces the following life lessons:
- You are unique, and that’s okay! Each person is beautiful just the way they are.
- Comparing ourselves to those around us only brings misery.
- Appearances can be deceiving… it’s what we have on the inside that really counts.
What parent wouldn’t want their child to grow up believing these things? Christian parents can also reinforce that the Bible teaches us these exact same lessons. Take a look:
- God made each of us wonderfully unique. We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
- Caring too much about what others think of us is a trap (Proverbs 29:25). Instead, we ought to live for an Audience of One.
- People tend to judge others based on their outward appearance, but God looks at a person’s heart (I Samuel 16:7). When it comes to living in a way that is eternally significant, it really is what is on the inside that counts.
Tonight at bedtime, it may be time to revisit The Ugly Duckling and remind your children that they are truly beautiful, and were created perfectly just the way they are.
Photo Credit: Not Such an Ugly Duckling – Kevin Law – CC SA 2.0
This post was submitted as part of the A to Z Challenge, where participants agree to write an article that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet, posting every day of the month of April (except Sundays).
Here on The Artistic Christian, my theme for the month is The Classics. Each day I’ll examine a book, film, or work of art that has become a beloved classic and discuss what has made it such a success, and what eternal themes it contains that Christian artists can use as modern illustrations.
For daily reflections from my personal travels around the world, check out my companion blog, Everyday Musings, where my theme for April is Reflections From Around the World.