I have three young daughters.
A family outing isn’t complete without hearing comments like, “You've got your hands full,” or “Whew, Dad, those teenage years are going to be tough.” Or my personal favorite, “What pretty little girls; they’re going to be heartbreakers, for sure.”
Molding today’s young girls into tomorrow’s mature women is significantly more challenging than any of the above-mentioned remarks. With daily assaults on marriage and the family and confusion regarding gender identity, our daughters are growing up in a time openly hostile toward Christians who adhere to God’s design for men and women and their intended roles in His kingdom. Thus, it is incumbent upon Christian parents to instill in their children (in this case, daughters), the divine purpose of their very existence, the Truth of who they are and whose they are.
It is never too early (or too late) for parents who desire to raise up the next generation of Christ-honoring women to imprint important precepts upon the hearts and minds of their daughters. They must hear us speak wise words to them, and we must repeat them often.
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Identify Yourself in Christ First and Foremost
During a quick scroll through social media, it’s hard to miss the standard message – “You be You!” On the surface, this phrase may seem as though it promotes gratitude for how God uniquely made us. However, the message really encourages one to look inward instead of upward for our identity, defining us by what we do instead of who we are in Christ.
When we accept Christ as the one who died and rose again to take away our sins, we become new creations in Christ, co-heirs with the Son of God (Romans 8:17). That said, it is all important to resist the temptation to define yourself by the world’s descriptors when you are a daughter of the King of King and Lord of Lords!
I’ve struggled with self-worth from a young age, relying on relationships and job titles as my source of happiness, which never lasted. More often than not, jobs bring discouragement, marriage disappointment, and motherhood depression. Yes, they can be very gratifying, providing a strong sense of belonging and personal value, but neither bosses, husbands, nor children will satisfy us the way a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will do. Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t require us to search, strive, or secure our identity through relationships, careers or dress size.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:11).
Ask God to Give You Spiritual Discernment and Wisdom for Each Day
“Okay, Google.” It is estimated that Google processes 5.6 billion searches per day! That’s a lot of people looking for answers. We don’t need more knowledge; we need more wisdom.
Wisdom and knowledge are used interchangeably, but they have two different meanings. Knowledge is the acquisition of facts or information; wisdom is the proper application of knowledge; discernment is the ability to know when and how to apply wisdom. Discernment helps us recognize our enemy, even when cleverly disguised. There is a plethora of information available at the touch of a button; we must know how to use the lens of Scripture to filter and sift content we allow to influence our attitudes and actions.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
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Embrace Your Unique Role as a Woman
God created men and women equally, yet differently, which is not a bad thing. Society shuns biblical womanhood and distorts the woman’s role in marriage and in the family, insisting that it is oppressive and outdated. Not to imply that God has called every woman to the roles of wife, mother and homemaker; we must remember, however, that God did create Eve for Adam, to be Adam's helpmate.
Notwithstanding, one of the consequences of the Fall was the disruption of the perfect, harmonious relationship between Adam and Eve. Because of sin, continual conflict between man and woman would exist as both now desire to promote their own self-interests above the other (Genesis 3:16). That said, the value of a woman does not come by usurping the role of men or by ignoring God's design for men and women in the home and in the community. Fulfillment comes upon recognition and acceptance that God created both men and women in His own image specifically to complement the other and to bring glory to God.
“So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:7).
Measure Your Beauty by God's Standards
“Do I look pretty?” On the heels of the words “Momma,” “Dadda,” and “mine,” these are among the first words uttered by little girls. We all want to feel loved, even adored, and we want to be noticed and seen as beautiful individuals. Sadly, we connect love and acceptance to physical attraction, believing that one (love) is impossible without the existence of the other (beauty).
Our gracious Heavenly Father bestowed upon his creations physical beauty, but because of the fallen nature of our world, the definition of true beauty has become corrupt and defiled, often defined exclusively in sensual and sexual terms. While we focus on outward appearances, the Lord defines real beauty by purity within, by our heart’s desire for holiness. In the long run, inner beauty supersedes physical beauty, which is fleeting and fades away, for only inner beauty transcends both time and place.
“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3-4).
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Pursue Friendships with Other Believers
Having a variety of friends from different backgrounds, different religious or political views is good as long as we do not “yoke” ourselves by joining them in sin. However, the majority of a believer’s closest relationships should be with fellow Christians.
It has never been popular to be a Christian, especially one who lives according to his or her God-given convictions. But today, and arguably in the foreseeable future, professing Christians, even in America, will face discrimination and persecution. We need friends who hold us accountable to God’s Word, who guide us back to Him when we stray and encourage us to pursue holiness in a wicked and perverse world.
God created us for fellowship with Him and with sisters and brothers in Christ. We were not meant to practice our faith in isolation, so seek out the family of God and cling to these relationships for growth, comfort, and strength.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-13).
Prioritize Personal Bible Study
In Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin writes, “The heart can’t love what the mind doesn’t know.” Don’t neglect reading your Bible by outsourcing your Bible study to pastors, podcasts, and social media. These are all excellent avenues to develop and strengthen our faith, but they are no substitute for personal Bible study. It’s easy to know a lot about the Bible without actually knowing the Bible. Don’t be satisfied with surface-level faith, which is easily shaken and quickly picked apart by a hostile and godless world. Build your hope and assurance on the solid foundation of truth, one built through time and commitment to reading and hiding God’s Word in our hearts.
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word” (Psalm 119:9).
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Live with an Eternal Perspective
Living with an eternal perspective shapes how we live our lives. It guides us in our decision-making, helps us focus on the truly important, and provides comfort and peace in a chaotic world. Remember that this world is not our home but a temporary timeshare on our way to our eternal destination, for “our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). When the demands of today wear you down, remember that it will pass. You are not living your best life now – your best life is yet to come, and it will last forever.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
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3 Truths to Teach Your Daughter about Beauty
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Originally published Tuesday, 26 October 2021.