How to Raise Godly Daughters
Mrs. Laurie Biedenbender
Tips to help you raise a unique Christian women
Raising godly daughters today is like flying a kite in a hurricane. The mighty winds of the world keep battering against us.
Looking for examples
Read the teen mags’ headlines:
“How to Flirt with Your Crush.” “The Better Body Plan.” “The Truth About Guys and Girls.” Our daughters won’t get much truth out of these at best silly and at worst dangerous magazines. As we strive to raise godly daughters, we certainly don’t look for guidance there — or in any of the secular media.
Unfortunately, we won’t get much help from the Christian book market either. Some evangelicals preach one persona that every Christian woman must acquire: welldressed, smiling, and carrying a Bible in a quilted bookcover. These selfhelp books contain chapters on makeup and housecleaning, as if these superficialities constitute commitment to Christ. At the other end of the shelf, we find the “Christian” feminists who trample on the roles of man and woman, which God clearly laid out at Creation. That deliberate misinterpretation of Scripture and the rancorous tone also won’t help us as we guide our daughters to Christian womanhood.
How about a look at the Bible’s women? There’s beautiful Sarah, whom Peter praises for calling her husband her master. There’s Rebekah, save her people. Martha, who showed her love by serving, and Mary, who chose “what was better” that afternoon in Bethany. Priscilla, half of who understood that God wanted her younger son to have the blessing but then took the matter into her own hands. Ruth, who left her people and country for the one true God. Deborah the judge, who encouraged her more timid partner to obey God’s calling. Esther, who risked her life tothe husbandwife team who taught the Word in the early church. And the women of Galilee, who took care of the roomandboard details of Jesus’ entourage, kept vigil by the cross when the disciples had vanished, and were graced by our Lord’s first visits Easter morning.
Raising a unique child
It’s a mixed bag of women. Their examples are only descriptive, not prescriptive, but they show us that there is not one kind of believing woman. Our daughters too are all different: careful thinkers and spontaneous risktakers, quiet souls and vibrant movers and shakers, confident leaders and happy followers. Thank God for those differences! Thank God he didn’t make all women hands or feet in the body of Christ. Our girls each have a unique personality, place, and purpose in life. We dare not try to mold them into prefab models of perceived piety.
One Biblical woman we can model is Jesus’ mother. Mary didn’t say, “Gabriel, please tell God it was nice of him to think of me, but this is too hard. I’m not ready to be divorced, booted out of the synagogue, and labeled a lunatic.” No, Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Isn’t that what we want our daughters to say? “Lord, I am your humble servant. I will open myself to your will for my life. I will accept being single, or I will happily submit to the husband you give me. Together with him, I will care for our children, understanding that they are yours, on lease to us. I will faithfully serve you in each role of my life: obedient child, hardworking student, congregation member, wife, mother, stockbroker, senator, secretary. But I know that none of these externals is as important as my relationship with you. As your redeemed and sanctified creature, I will offer myself as a living sacrifice to you. With my feet on the ground and my heart in heaven with you, I will make everything I do a thank-you for your great sacrifice for me.”
Holding tight in the eye of that worldly hurricane are strong Christian families and congregations encouraging their daughters — and sons — to grow in their heartandsoul love affairs with their Savior and to serve him with a humble heart in the many different ways he has prepared for them.
A dozen ideas for raising godly daughters
1. Worship and study the Word together at church and home.
2. Lead her on paths or righteousness, trusting Jesus as the only way to heaven and living a life that says thank-you to him.
3. Emphasize that her value does not lie in how much she weighs, how many boys like her, or how high her grades are. Her value lies solely in her status as a child of God, created by the Father for a unique purpose, redeemed by the Son for all eternity, and made alive and growing by the Spirit for service on earth.
4. Think about your expectations. What’s more important, looking pretty or working hard? Acting nice or having an honest and loving heart? Being successful or being faithful?
5. Encourage the “gentle and quiet spirit” of 1 Peter 3:4 without squelching her. God doesn’t ask her to keep all her thoughts to herself.
6. Mothers, practice humble submission. It will show her what kind of wife to become. Fathers, practice sacrificial headship. It will show her what kind of man to marry.
7. Point her thoughts toward others. The more she stops thinking about herself, the more she will become herself.
8. Talk about the world. Tell her she can make a difference.
9. Attend her forensics meets, choir concerts, basketball games.
10. Open her mind to thought-provoking books and movies.
11. Help her discover and develop her gifts. Encourage her to practice good stewardship by getting that PhD. Affirm her compassion, persistence, and good cheer — those gifts that are not acknowledged at awards banquets. Encourage her to use her gifts to serve others, especially those “who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).
12. Make sure she knows she’s a beautiful child of God — especially on the inside.
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