Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Few Reflections on Raising Daughters

I got an email from a lady who was concerned about her daughter. She, the mother, held a certain belief and her daughter was away from home and wavering on these beliefs. So it made me reflect. I have had 5 daughters and 4 of them are grown and doing their own thing in life. One of those 4 still lives at home but has a busy life working and obtaining her college degree, and I see her in passing as she leaves for work and her own life. The 5th is still being homeschooled.

As mothers we impart our views, beliefs, convictions to our daughters. In the end will they live and abide by these? Some may and some may not. My pastor once said if parenting were as easy as A+B=C then we would all get it right. We can’t expect because we have beliefs and views and convictions that our daughters will have these as well. There is something called free will. Every person has to walk their own path and come to their own conclusions. Honestly I would not want it any other way. We can’t be afraid to show our daughters the options of life because they may see something better than what they were raised with. They have to come to these conclusions on their own. They have to develop the conviction that the choices they make for their own life are THE best. And as mother’s we pray diligent for their hearts, always.

One issue that is always a constant in the Christian world of raising daughters is a college education. This can go in contrast to some people’s beliefs on raising daughters to be homemakers. So, do we want our daughters to not have a college degree so we can make sure they don’t have any other options but homemaking? I should hope not. Are we concerned that if they have a degree it will lead to a career and they won’t want to be homemakers? Well, I guess that is always a possibility. But the reason I became a homemaker was not a lack of options it was a conviction from the Lord that said I was the one He chose to raise the children He gave me and the one He chose to love and support my husband, the one He chose to run the household He gave me. It was all about God, not a lack of options. I want my daughters to come to these same conclusions for their own lives.

Why are so many afraid of strong, independent, educated, competent women? Women that are capable of making good and godly choices for their own lives. I understand the feminist angle, believe me you can’t live in this society and not see this. I don’t want to raise feminist daughters. I want to raise women that are strong, educated, competent HELPMEETS!

Let me share something about myself. I am strong headed, independent minded and a doer in life. And this is one thing my husband loves about me. He knows his best interest is always first and foremost on my mind and the good of our family and home is always my first priority. But I think independently. He likes that fact and that he and I can talk about the issues of life and decisions that need to be made and he has an equal in life to help him make decisions. Women need to be strong, smart and independent minded to be able to bring to their marriage the fullest potential it can have. The one thing about being a wife is that we willing put ourselves under the authority of a husband because that is what the Lord has designed as the best pattern for a successful life and marriage and we do it because we love our husbands! But we are his equal and need to bring to the table our best for our family’s interest. I want to raise daughters that have that same strong, smart and independent thought and can bring to their marriage something of value. Sometimes the things in life that we experience are what help us to come to those independent thoughts.

At some point we have to let go of our daughters, knowing we have done, prayed and taught the best that we have in us. After this they need to walk their own path. They may make bad choices, they may make wonderful choices, but ultimately I want them to be women that love God, want to serve Him all the days of their lives and can live up to the Proverbs 31 ideal. They can consider a field and buy it, they can sell their wares, they work hard every day for their family, they can be the woman that does her husband good all the days of his life, they can be women that their children will rise up and call blessed.
 

9 comments:

  1. Well said. I've thought about this question quite a bit myself. My oldest daughter is 13 almost 14. She is an independent thinker. I want her to have choices. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this. By the way, my husband bought your breadmaking class tutorial for me a couple of years ago. I now make bread regularly with it and even ocassionally sell cinnamon rolls that I make with a modified version of your recipe. Thank you!

    Laura Lane
    Carthage, Missouri

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  2. you did good,mom. :D Love you lots!

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  3. What a wonderful post! I agree that our daughters should become homemakers because they feel that God is calling them to do so, not because they have no other options.

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  4. My goal for all my children is that they become independent thinkers and people who do the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do, even when it's hard or unpopular. I hope they all choose education (i.e. college) and if they desire to have a family then they bring them up with the discipline and mental regulating of our Lord. But if they, especially my daughter, choose a career, then I will not be upset by that. It is their life and their decision, not mine. In the end, you do what you can, the rest is up to them. Thank you again Crystal for you thought provoking words of wisdom.

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  5. When my children were born 37 and 34 years ago I decided that I would support what they did as long as it made them caring productive members of society.

    From my own life, being born at a time where girls were expected by society to grow up to have babies and keep house, I knew the concern brought on by not having a "back up" plan if what would be "ideal" fell apart.

    Husbands and wives die. People divorce. Life happens. So I worked diligently to teach my children that what is desired is a home with a helpmate (be that husband or wife) and family is a lovely goal. But I wanted my son to be able to cook, sew on buttons and care for himself. I also wanted my daughter to set her sights for those goals but to have a back up if the unthinkable happened.

    I was raised by a mother who stressed often "God helps those who help themselves." The Lord gives us a road map. He also gives us the intelligence to follow it without the assumption that we will never need an emergency kit.

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  6. So true! It helps to grow up knowing it's MY responsibility for the choices I make.

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  7. I don't find a verse in the Bible that talks about women being strong and independent, but I do see where God is pleased with women who have a gentle and quiet spirit. And in Titus we read that women are to be "busy at home". From Scripture I see that God values women being at home loving and taking care of their husbands and children. And in the verse in 1 Peter I believe it says that a gentle and quiet spirit is even precious to Him. For me, I think the best way for women to live, according to Scripture, is being home-centered with possibly a home business but one that is not too time consuming. That is what I see that the Bible teaches. In previous generations, women, as far as I know, did not strive for independence, or strong personalities. That is a feminist idea, and it has really crept into the church. We need to be aware of that so we can watch out for teachings that lean in that direction. For women to have careers outside the home, is unbiblical. At least that is how I see it. I think that you, Crystal, have a good balance with your home business being offerings that are for women to use in their home keeping. I do not have a goal for my girls to be strong and independent-but to be keepers at home which is clearly what the Bible teaches. Even the Prov. 31 woman seems to have worked from home-not going away for several hours a day leaving her family to fend for themselves while she finds fulfillment elsewhere.

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  8. Hi Anon,
    Thanks for your independent thoughts on my blog post ;) Your response is exactly what I am talking about. As women we stand before God on our own and need to come to these convictions because of our relationship with Him. You are absolutely correct.. feminism is insidious and has crept into all of society, the church as well. There is a difference between a woman being anti man & anti God (which is what feminism reeks of to me) and a woman who is her own individual and has her own thoughts… discriminating the godly from the ungodly.

    As I read Proverbs 31 what I see is an incredible powerhouse of a woman who coupled with a meek and quiet spirit is one whose children and husband do rise up and call blessed.. It takes an independent woman who can consider a field and buy it, it takes and independent woman who can manufacture products to sell to the merchants, it takes an independent woman who can run her household to the point where her husband has no concerns of lack of gain.. he is not worried that she is being foolish with the money or resources that God has given them. He sits among the elders at the gates and she works tirelessly for her family.. yes, this takes strength and independent thought for God’s kingdom..

    But the above comments are from the perspective of a woman who has a husband and children. What if a woman never marries? Or if she does marry but has no children? There are no guarantees in life. My daughter who just recently got her degree wants to work in the field of accounting. Her ultimate goal is to run her own accounting business from home when (if) she marries.. she wants to be home to raise her children. My other daughter who almost has her English degree wants to teach and ultimately when (if) she marries she wants to be a tutor and help her local homeschooling community from her home while she raises her own children. In the meantime they live their lives and work towards their goals and I pray that when the time comes they will be women who chose God’s way out of a conviction of their own hearts. I believe this was basically the point I was attempting to make in my article.

    Crystal :)

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