The death of a Princess.

It hardly seems possible that 12 years have already gone by since the death of Princess Diana. Nearly all of us remember where we were when we heard that tragic news bulletin. The fairy tale story of a beautiful young woman who had married a real life prince suddenly ended in a grinding crash in the middle of the night beneath the streets of Paris.

As the story unfolded in the months that followed, it turns out that the “fairy tale story” was more of a horror story than a fairy tale. A serially unfaithful husband, bulimia, depression, thoughts of suicide, loneliness, isolation, a controlling mother-in-law and much more we’ll never know about. What had appeared to those of us on the outside to be a dream-come-true had in fact been a nightmare that ultimately killed the beautiful princess.

A very wise man tells us this: “I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Proverbs 24:32. So what can we learn by observing the tragic life of Diana, Princess of Wales?

Galatians 5:26 says, “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

And Exodus 20:17 says “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Did you ever envy Diana for her beauty, her fairy tale romance or her storybook wedding. Did you ever secretly covet her wealth or her lifestyle?

I’m sure 99% of you are saying, “No, not really. I never doubted that she had a difficult life. There were always rumors.”

Good for you!

Now let me ask you something a little closer to home. Have you ever envied your sister’s kitchen? How about your neighbor’s shiny new Chevy Suburban? Have you envied the “perfect homeschool family’s” beautiful, dedicated homeschool classroom or your best friend’s fabulous homeschool vacations earned with her husband’s frequent flyer bonus miles from his business? Have you ever wished that your children behaved more like your brother’s children? Have you ever coveted your brother’s home with the five bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths? Have you ever coveted your dentist’s ‘hobby farm’ with 10 acres, a vegetable garden and two horses? Do you all still have a perfect score on today’s quiz? I thought not. Neither do I!!

Here’s the secret: You have absolutely NO IDEA what their lives are truly like- what troubles and suffering they’re experiencing behind the outward lifestyle that seems so perfect from afar. Like Princess Diana they may be suffering unimaginable pain about which you know absolutely nothing.

Jane and I work with troubled marriages regularly. These are Christian, homeschool marriages that by all outward appearances are often fairy tales; successful men, new mini-vans, beautiful homes with dedicated homeschool clasrooms and more. But their lives have become a living hell as their marriage becomes plagued with adultery, pornogrpahy, abuse, addiction, violent tempers, illness, overwhelming debt and financial pressures and more. There is no outward sign that the fairy tale has become a horror story.

We simply cannot know what goes on inside our neighbor’s home any more than we can know what goes on inside Buckingham Palace. For this reason, the Lord urges us to be content with what we have and to not envy or covet what others have.

Hebrews 13:5 tells us “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'”

1 Timothy 6:8 says “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Philippians 11:13-16 tells us “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Did you ever think that Diana, Princess of Wales might have been envious of your life? Is it possible she would have given up everything to be home with her boys, live a “normal” life with a mortgage and a car payment and grocery budget? You might be surprised.

Remember Diana today, on the 12th anniversary of her tragic death; August 31, 1997. Show your children pictures of Diana and tell them the story of the fairy tale princess and her beautiful wedding. Perhaps your children would like to play dress up today and have a “wedding” fit for a prince and princess. They’ll learn about the darker side of Diana’s tragic life all too soon so there’s no need to trouble them with that part of the story today.

Now thank the Lord for the many blessings He has poured out in your life and ask Him to help you find more peace and to be more content in your circumstances than you’ve ever been before.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Olivia said,

    I can’t believe it has been 12 years. Wow! More importantly, I needed this reminder today. I find it difficult to be content sometimes, and struggle with comparisons. If only I’d realize that it doesn’t get me anywhere. I’m going to print this out as a reminder. Thanks.

  2. 2

    Kisha said,

    I needed to hear this today! Thanks, Steve.

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