April 23, 2014 by Alicia
Being the mother of a daughter. How daunting. I always said I didn’t want any daughters – just sons. I’m so thankful for God’s infinite wisdom.
My hope for her is that she knows how much Jesus loves her. How much he desires a relationship with her. That He believes she is worthy of the greatest sacrifice there is. I want her to know His grace, intimately. I pray for and long for the day she understands this.
My hope for her is that she knows being beautiful is more about her heart than it is about her face or bra size. That she knows she has something to offer by simply being herself. I pray she knows she is valuable and precious. I pray that she feels confident in her passions, whatever they might be. I hope she takes chances, fails, and tries again.
My hope for her is that she loves a boy, in the right way and at the right time. I hope she knows that a boy is never worth a moral compromise. That instant gratification can lead to prolonged devastation. I hope she doesn’t fixate on boys or dating, ever, but certainly not at a young age. I pray she understands the implications of her actions.
My hope for her is that she’s not a mean girl. I believe she is a sinner in need of grace, but I do not believe children are born as bullies. That behavior is picked up somewhere. I pray she doesn’t find that behavior in our home, and when encountered elsewhere, we can address it. I pray she reaches out to the lonely girl, the troubled girl, the outcast. I hope she has enough confidence in herself to resist the tug of her peers’ poor decisions.
My hope for her is that she has friends of likemindedness. That she has friends who also love Jesus, who also reach out to the friendless, who also don’t worry about boys, who also dress respectably. I pray she has friends who also want to pursue a life down the road less traveled.
I think, as moms, we would agree on most of what I’ve noted. I mean, who thinks, “Man I hope my daughter is provocative, mean, emasculating, and has terrible self-esteem.” (Ps. if you do feel that way, perhaps we should talk 🙂 ) But it’s not enough to have these hopes for our daughters. It’s not enough to “wish” they turn out right. Us moms need to put in the work and the time to be the primary influence on womanhood. Most importantly, we need to cover the issue in prayer.
Before having a daughter, I remember casting judgment on other moms of daughters. I remember thinking, “your daughter wouldn’t dress that way if you didn’t.” And, “your daughter wouldn’t be such a gossip if you weren’t.” And, “what kind of wife do you think your daughter will be when she sees you disrespect your husband.” Was I right? Maybe. But perhaps I should get the plank out of my own eye first (Matthew 7: 3-5). I now reign those judgments over myself. My daughter will be impacted by how I dress, by how I talk (or don’t talk) about others, by how I treat her daddy – both privately and publicly. She will be impacted by my comments about my own body and my perception of my own self-worth.
I see all these articles online about “how to raise grateful kids,” “how to raise a pure daughter,” “how to bring Jesus into your child’s daily routine.” I’m sure many of these bloggers have GREAT ideas on things like this. And I’m certainly not above receiving good advice. However, I think we’d all be mistaken if we thought that what we say to our children has a much greater impact than what we do in our own lives. Aside from praying for my daughter, the best thing I can do to “raise her right” is to get my own act together.
It is my responsibility to teach her to love Jesus. It is my responsibility to show her what the Gospel looks like every day and everywhere. It is my responsibility to teach her how to love her husband. It is my responsibility to show her her self-worth. It is my responsibility to show her what a Proverbs 31 woman is. Challenging. Terrifying. Humbling.