I believe teaching these distinctions to our daughters must start when our girls are on our laps; it comes from how we model our lives ( and words) in front of them, and has a LOT to do with what we expose them to all along the way!
Teach Our Daughters The Difference
Our desire is to insulate, not isolate our children, and in this case, our daughters. We need to show them, incrementally and sensitively, the evils of the world so they will not be naive. They need to know that there are people (men and women) who will seek to use anything they can for their own selfish desires.
We should not lock our daughters in a tower (like Gothel did to Rapunzel), leaving them all too eager to leave when given their first chance. More than likely, they will fall for a tricky thief like Flynn Rider.
Don’t fill your child’s head with romantic ideas early on. Like is says in Song of Solomon, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” ~Song of Songs 8:4
This is so important. If you daughter is oblivious to young men around her, as long as she is acting appropriately around them, you should not tease her about the time she spends with a friend. Discourage quietly those who would ask about boyfriends or dating. You might be surprised. The public at large thinks that 6 or 7 years old is not too young to start thinking of boys.
Allow your daughter to enjoy the years she can with little boys and girls alike. Those will be some of the most carefree, beautiful years, and you don’t want them to end any earlier than they have to.
You may also want to analyze what movies your children watch. Are you filling your little girl’s head with ideas of Disney princes and is your middle-aged daughter thinking about Mr. Darcy? Mr. Darcy does not represent the reality of life, in most cases, so why fill her thoughts with something that will disappoint in the end?
Even some of us mothers may find great pleasure in time-period dramas that stimulate our hearts to things that we would desire in our own marriages. Are we unintentionally setting them up for disillusionment? As one reader stated,
“The problem may not be Disney princesses or Mr. Darcy (who actually does represent what I would want a young girl to look for…a man who is convicted about his poor attitude and behavior and matures rather than a man who is seemingly perfect like many a Prince Charming), but rather an inability to see the difference. To me it seems like a heart issue of desiring love, admiration, and affection from the wrong sources, not an external issue of whether they dress up like Disney princesses or not. You can keep them away from Disney and Jane Austen until they are 25, but if they don’t know to expect imperfection in a spouse or to look for godly characteristics in a man, the root problem will still exist.”
Dating/relationship with the purpose of marriage (or whatever you choose to call it) is such a beautiful thing, but until your daughter is ready, I urge you to not evoke romantic images in your child’s mind. Don’t awaken desires before their time.
Courtship/dating with the purpose of marriage (or whatever you call it), if done poorly and without great care, can be very painful. Don’t paint a canvas of thornless roses, all the while knowing that where there is love, there is bound to be pain.
Instead, pour into your daughter the beauty of serving Jesus. Read great books, explore the world of art, music, nature, decorating, crafting, science, and hospitality. Love will come in its time.
Find things that are beautiful (hopefully inexpensive or from nature) and fill your home with them. When you see an example of a dedicated father and devoted husband, point that out to your daughters. Especially when that husband is your husband and that father is their father, make a huge point of mentioning that you want your daughter to marry a man with the good qualities that you see in your man.
1. Teach the whole Word of God in all it’s fullness and truth, trusting the Holy Spirit will water the seeds we plant in our daughter’s lives. Do it with joy and gladness, remembering it can’t be done in a day or a week. Over many years give them a thoroughly biblical worldview through which to see the world and make future decisions.
2. Bind your daughters hearts to you and your husband by interacting with them in everyday life. Protect them by spending time with them in wholesome pursuits. These years will never come again so we must ask for grace and wisdom to use them wisely.
And what if you find yourself with a young daughter that has come under some influence and is suddenly headed in the wrong direction? Is it too late to insulate them or re-establish lines of communication that for some reason have been lost?
It is NEVER too late to ask for the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance to rebuild the relationship with this girl we hardly recognize anymore!
“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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” ~James 1: 5-6
Today the forces coming against our daughters are very much stronger than they were when we were young. Let us take every opportunity to build God’s ways into these precious young lives.
This may (or may not) be the time to share about the mistakes you made in your life (that they may not even be aware of) and the consequences that resulted from running ahead of God. This would require great care and prayer. Don’t say anything negative about your spouse, parents, etc., but accept the blame for your own actions and share how you wish someone had cared enough to alert you to beware.
There was a time I felt led to share parts of my past with my children, but I took great care in how I did it. These young lives are going grow up into adults someday who have the potential to impact the world for Christ. In the end you are not responsible for what they do, but you can be a deciding factor in how they live their lives.
Are you bold to speak the truth to an older daughter when deceptions of the culture are being believed? Or, do you find it easy to stay silent because you feel too timid or you are concerned what people think of you?
Imagine if ALL God-fearing Mothers purposefully began to boldly speak truth (with kindness and gentleness) into their daughter’s/children’s lives! Let’s start! Soak your daughters in God’s Word and His truth. Speak seeds of truth wherever you go. Let us not do it with condemnation or a judging attitude, but with a winsome heart of gracious love and encouragement. Come on, let’s start being bold for God and His truth. This may be our only chance.
I have no formula with which to leave you, but I trust the Lord will show you the way.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33
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Thanks for reading!