Sunday, August 16, 2015

Raising a Woman Proud in Her Femininity

We live in a culture that has destroyed what it means to be a woman. We applaud men living as women, celebrate gay marriage, and fill our vision with distorted images of beauty. As a mother, I am terrified of trying to raise godly men and women surrounded by images like these. I know I need to start early to counteract the culture, so I have begun to think about what I will do to raise my daughter to be proud of her femininity. These are just a few of the things I intend to do throughout my life to help my daughter become a godly woman.

Celebrate feminine milestones. Being a woman is a beautiful thing, but she will never learn to recognize that beauty if I ignore the feminine milestones in her life. When I started my first period, for example, my mom took me to get a manicure with her, just me and her, as a celebration of my entrance into womanhood, and I intend to do something similar with my Bumblebee every time she reaches a new stage in life as a woman.

Teach her to treasure her body. There is a ridiculous amount of body-shaming in both Christian and non-Christian circles. Some parts of the purity movement teach girls to cover their bodies out of fear of the reaction of the men around them. Some parts of the secular culture teach girls to show their entire bodies to assert their freedom and independence, or to attract a man. Neither of these teachings is correct. I need to teach her that her body, God's unique creation, has value, and as such, it is only for herself, and one day, if God wills it, for the man who becomes her husband.

Show her what a good marriage is. It is my responsibility to show my daughter what the vocations of wife and mother entail, as my mother showed me. By loving me in his words and actions, my husband will be setting standards for our daughter's future husband (if God wills that she has one), and by loving my husband with my words and actions, I will be setting standards for how my daughter should live out her vocation of wife.

Teach her appropriate standards for sexuality. A mother's responsibility to her daughter regarding her sexuality goes beyond teaching her about the mechanics and to abstain from intercourse marriage. I will teach my daughter that, like her body, her sexuality is a gift, to be used in marriage within the boundaries God has established. As my mother taught me, I will teach her to safeguard it as a young single, and to generously gift it to her husband as a married woman.

This will not be an easy undertaking. From the moment she was first conceived, my husband and I received a lifelong challenge, given to us by God, to raise her to the best of our abilities to live as His creation, and I pray that He will guide us to live out this vocation of parents well.

Mothers, fathers, what would you add to this list? How do you (or did you) raise your daughters to be godly women?

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