While every girl is different (and the journey is different for each one), we moms are given a unique call to demonstrate to our daughters what it really means to be a healthy, whole woman.
This is far from easy, especially since many of us are works in progress ourselves, right?!
But isn’t that true about all aspects of parenting–we must guide our kids as we are learning ourselves about life?
As I grow in my own discovery of what it means to be an 21st Century Christian woman, here’s what I want to tell my daughter.
NOTE: I wrote this as if I was writing a letter to my daughter. You are welcome to share this with your daughter(s) as well, or feel free to modify it for what you’d say to your little one.
It’s never too late (or too early) to share these truths with our girls! Decide today what you want to share with your daughter too, and be intentional!
7 Things I Want to Teach My Daughter About Being a Woman
1) True beauty is not what the world says it is.
Although you are strikingly gorgeous on the outside, more than anything I want to encourage you to always grow deeper with God, allowing his “gentle and quiet spirit” to flourish in your heart. The Bible describes this as pure beauty (1 Peter 3:4).
Of course this doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a mani/pedi from time to time, or that we can’t share a love of clothes and fashion. In fact, I can’t wait to share more of those moments with you!
I just want you to understand that these things don’t define who you are or determine if you are beautiful or not. You are beautiful because you are His amazing creation, and your soul grows more lovely the closer you get to him. Period.
2) Don’t place your worth in how you can (or cannot) gain a man’s attention.
Oh my daughter, I spent so many years chasing this… only to find that the true void I was trying to fill was never going to be filled by a romantic relationship.
You will turn the heads of boys. I have no doubt about it. With your easy smile and your daddy’s sky blue eyes, you will get many looks (sometimes even when you won’t want them).
But don’t fall into the trap of needing to have a man’s attention in order to feel beautiful. Your outward beauty (and your ability to turn heads) will fade, especially as your body changes after kids. You can’t let anyone’s approval or disapproval of your physical attributes determine your worth.
You are more than just an object to be desired. You are precious and loved regardless, and your worth has nothing to do with how little or how much attention you get from guys.
That’s why I encourage you to dress yourself in a way that honors your body as a gift from God, not as an object to be consumed. There’s lots of grey areas here, but when in doubt, err on the side of modesty.
3) Use your fearless spirit to follow God without hesitation.
Earlier this week you told me (in your matter-of-fact way) that you were going to be a missionary. This didn’t surprise me since you’ve already been on a few missions trips, and you have an intimacy with God unlike that of many other kids your age.
And let me say this: If anyone has the gumption and passion it takes to proclaim the Gospel to every nation, it’s you, my darling daughter! I love your fiery passion for God!
But whether full-time missions work ends up being part of your adult future or not, I want to encourage you to follow God in whatever you do. We are called to share God’s love in whatever job title we’re given.
There are no right or wrong answers! Your daddy and I are here to help you discover what talents you’ve been given and to guide you toward your beautiful future. Whatever God calls you to do, never be afraid to follow him.
4) Emotions are OK. They are part of being human.
With all that gumption comes lots of (sometimes unbridled) emotion. I have that same passionate, driven heart as you, and I get what you’re feeling. I want you to know that I’m always here to listen and to help you understand where those emotions are coming from.
But I also want you to know that it’s not OK to let our emotions fly unchecked, and that we must continually bring our feelings before God for help in sorting them out.
He is the creator of emotion and He put that fire in your heart! Learn to listen to his voice in the moment, so that you can learn how to best handle those emotions in a healthy way.
5) Choose humility. Always.
Serving others and wanting to help seems to come naturally to you, and it is beautiful to see you use this gift.
While humility is a character trait that every person should strive for, God’s word specifically tells women to do good (Titus 2:5). There are times when you must just let things go and give people space to be imperfect (Ephesians 4:2-4).
Look for ways to serve others, and be quick to help in whatever way is needed.
In these simple ways, you will be changing the world–one moment at a time!
6) Develop authentic, real relationships.
One of the greatest blessings I’ve been given in this life is the women I’ve encountered. But in order to know these women, I’ve had to take off the mask and learn how to be real.
As a result, in every season of my life, God has always been so good to surround me with a myriad of women who each, in their own imperfect way, taught me about the woman I want to be.
These have been young women and old women. Some of them I’ve known for years, and others I only knew for a season. Regardless, as I look at the big picture of the woman I am today, I see tiny facets of each of these women reflecting back at me.
God arranged for my path to cross with each of these ladies. But, my daughter, I had to choose to invest time in deep, honest relationship with them. Sometimes I had to boldly pursue friendship, especially when I was in a brand new social situation.
And that’s my hope for you, my dear one. I pray that you would not be too busy or too afraid to open yourself up to authentic relationship with women who also want to live their lives intentionally for God.
7) Remember that the only constant is God Himself.
You will have good seasons and bad ones. You’ll have times when you are on top of the world; and other times you wonder if you’ll ever get out of this slump.
People–even the closest people in your life who love you profusely–will disappoint you sometimes and hurt your feelings.
Money will come and go. You may live in poverty at times or even possess extreme wealth.
There really is no guarantee in life. Everything you count as “constant” can all change in the blink of an eye.
Let His love be your foundation. Let His words be your standard of right or wrong, regardless of what the world says. Let Him carry you and comfort you when you’re too weak to keep on fighting.
God’s love is real, never-changing and unconditional. Let His love fill your heart and be the overflow for how you can love others.
My daughter, I will always be here to listen and I will do my imperfect best to model all that I’ve shared here.
There’s so much I want to protect you from, and yet, I must hold you loosely. I can guide you and set an example, but ultimately, you are in the driver’s seat. And the older you get, the more I must slowly turn the steering wheel of your life over to you.
You can determine the type of woman you want to be! I pray that you will take small steps–even today!–toward that woman you dream of being. Don’t be afraid of falling down or messing up. Just keep moving forward.
I also pray that God will continue to give us a wonderful closeness and special bond so that we can continue to grow together. There’s so much I learn from you too!
You are my small-but-mighty girl, and I always will be in your corner cheering for you!
I’m so blessed to know you through every stage of your life!
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