Thursday, August 29, 2013

What We Need to Tell Our Daughters

The real title of this post is: "Things to make sure your daughter knows so one day she doesn't strut across a stage half naked losing all dignity and honor."

Not too many positive role models for our girls come out of Hollywood. But they could. Because any girl/young lady can make choices that make her a young woman of faith and dignity. I mention dignity because of Proverbs 31:25-26, 30 which says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

These are good verses for our girls. But girls aren't always encouraged to make the right choices or to be the kind of woman mentioned in the verses, so it's up to us as parents to guide them into becoming women of faith. Women of dignity. Women of character. It should start long before their first steps, but if not, start today.

Here are some things we need to tell our daughters.
(I added some resources to help with this. Some are written by me, some are not.)

  1. Guard your heart. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." The things you see stay with you. The things you read stay with you. The music you listen to has a message that stays with you. Use Philippians 4:8 as a guide for what you see and hear.
(Check out the movies you want to watch at Plugged In online to find out what they really contain HERE)

  2. Celebrate you! Psalm 139:13-14 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it." God made you who you are. He gave you the personality, talents and abilities you need in order to be who he created you to be. It's okay to work at those things and improve yourself, but don't wish you were someone else. You cheat yourself. You cheat others. Only you can be the you God made.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Me: The Quiz Book for fun ways to find out more about what makes you special HERE.)

  3. God has an amazing plan for you. Jeremiah 29:11 was written to the Jews in exile, but it's true for you too. "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." You are not here by accident. God has things for you to do. That's why #2 is so important. God gifted you with what you need to fulfill his plan for you. Don't sell yourself short or settle for less than the best. Going along with what everyone else is doing might be the easy road, but it's not the best one. God wants more than that for you.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Being Your Best for great advice, fun quizzes and doable crafts to help you discover all you can be HERE.)

  4. Every choice you make is important. It's easy to act without thinking or go along with the crowd. But each choice matters, even the little ones. Choices turn into behaviors, and repeated behaviors become habits. Choices have consequences. Something you do on impulse to make others laugh or get attention may not have the outcome you plan. Weigh each choice and ask yourself if this is a good thing for you and for others. Think through big decisions and discuss them with a responsible adult.

  5. Don't be an attention seeker. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." It's okay to get attention for good grades, good sportsmanship on the playing field, singing a solo, making the debate team or helping out in the community, but don't let that be the only reason you do them. And never lower yourself for attention. Twerking half dressed in front of a million viewers will surely get attention—the wrong kind. Is that attention worth losing people's respect, dishonoring God, and losing all dignity and integrity?

 6. Your purity is your gift to your husband. I know people don't think this way anymore, but saving yourself helps you avoid guilt and emotional baggage. Cover up and don't display to the world what you are saving for your husband. You can dress with style and still be modest. Add a cute high cut tank top under those scoop neck shirts. Put some fun leggings under the short skirts and dresses. Make your own fashion statement if you need to. Flaunting your half naked body in public doesn't show any creativity or imagination. Finding ways to be stylish and modest at the same time does.
(Check out The Christian Girl's Guide to Style for ideas HERE.)

  7. Being different is okay. You're not a freak because you don't sneak out to parties, make out with boys, wear a swimsuit that looks more like underclothing than something you could swim in, disrespect your parents or take part in questionable activities. Even a small light illuminates in a dark world. Be the light others need to find their way.
(Check out a Young Woman After God's Own Heart or a Girl After God's Own Heart HERE)

  8. Good manners never go out of style. Saying thank you, writing a note, giving deference to the elderly, respecting those in authority, taking turns, turning off your phone in restaurants and talking quietly and respectfully show that you know how to be polite. They put you a notch above others whether or not your friends agree.

  9. Your friends will influence you, so choose good ones. Proverbs 12:26 says, "The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray." Your friends are important. You talk to them about things you don't discuss with your parents. So make sure your friends are the kind that will give you good advice and encourage you to be your best, not go along with the crowd or be mediocre.
(Check out Girls Politics" Friends, Cliques and Really Mean Chicks HERE (teen girls) or A Girl's Guide to Best Friends and Mean Girls (preteen girls) HERE or Just for Me: Friends HERE (young girls))

 10. Live on/with purpose. Micah 6:8 says, "The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Simple, huh? Live intentionally. Live as a princess because you surely are as a child of the Heavenly King. Keep that in mind and the first nine points will fall into place.
(Check out: The One Year Devotions for Girls Starring Women of the Bible for a daily dose of inspiration all year long. HERE (girls 10-14), or The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible HERE (ages 8-12) or Just for Me: The Bible HERE (ages 5-8))

These are my thoughts. What other messages do we need to give our girls? What books and other resources have you found helpful?


Emily said...

You hit the nail on the head.

:)De said...

May I please print this out for later discussion with my teen? It is very timely to a situation that we have going on right now.


Kathy C. said...

:)De Yes. Feel free to share it.

Thanks Emily.

One Crowded House said...

my girls and I do a Bible study on our own once a week and we just finished up A young Woman after God's heart- it was good.

Next we are going to work through some of your women of the Bible devotional. :)

I think parents are setting their kids up for disaster these days by allowing too many freedoms too soon. Not allowing for time and maturity. In the mean time we need to be soaking everything we do with our kids in prayer and studying His word. That way when they are in questionable situations, they will know which path to take.

Kathy C. said...

T-I agree. I was going to include about taking time to grow up and talk about the early rush to have a boyfriend, hang out at the mall with just peers etc but I was already getting long winded :) This could easily be a book but I think there are already some out there like it.

One Crowded House said...

I know my kids' friends think we are old fashioned (I obviously don't care), but just yesterday the mom of my 7th grade daughters' friend e-mailed to ask if she could drop her daughter and my daughter off at the movies so they could watch the "One Direction" movie. I told her no, we watch movies together as a family, but thanks (which is true). But really I was thinking..... ummmm NO... I'm not dropping my middle schoolers off anywhere- are you crazy?!

Sarah said...

I love and totally agree with this post!What I find interesting is that NO ONE (in the media, blogs etc) is talking about how our boys/men should be acting? It's all about how girls should be.

Everyone seems to think it is perfectly okay for grown 36 yr old men to dance around stage doing suggestive/sexual moves, and grinding up against women in skin tight clothes...but the moment a grown woman does it it is appalling. I feel that there is a double standard in our society.

I'd love to see a similar post for boys (although, I'm sure they'd be pretty similar).

Kathy C. said...

Sarah--that is true. Guys need to focus on purity as much as girls, but we dont' really think about it because with girls it's often how they dress and most guys don't dress immodestly--they just don't know how to pull their pants up all the way!

I only saw a short clip of Miley strutting around stage so not sure what all went on.

And I've noticed that when a girl gets pregnant, the guy is often overlooked but obviously there was a guy involved. But since he doesn't start looking pregnant, people forget about him and he doesn't share the shame.

Yep. The guys need a post too. I'll think on that.

Kathy C. said...

T-I haven't dropped Jasmine off at anything that wasn't a church event but I'm sure that day will come. It would depend on who she's with or whether or not it's the theater Jessica works at!

Felicia said...

Sometimes we girls get together and go to dinner to talk about girl things. If you were sitting next to us you would be in for an earful because we don't mince words. Kids see so much now and need someone who will speak honestly and brazenly about the things that they see. Kids need to feel that they can talk about what stresses they have and have input into ways to deal with it. Sometimes the discussion leads to how youth act and how quickly friends can turn against you once they either get what they want or you assert your beliefs.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

New International Version (NIV)

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

Kathy C. said...

It's important to have those talks. They get so much wrong info or info with bad values attached that we need to answer their questions so we can insert our values.

schnitzelbank said...

How about an article about the responsibility of raising young men to not treat women as sexual objects?