As many of you know, a third sweet little one is growing inside of me. I’ve been meaning to write something about this third baby pretty much since I found out I was pregnant…but somehow the words haven’t come. With 28 weeks rapidly approaching on Monday, I thought that now was as good of a time as any to finally write about her. But to do that, I have to go back to the beginning…before this baby was even a possibility in our minds.
The thought of having a daughter has at times made me scared silly. Not that raising a son is any less challenging or important. It’s just that, as much as I see myself in my son, I know I will see myself even more so in my daughter. And I have been there myself. I have known the joys of womanhood, but I have also known the tremendous heartaches. I think about the mistakes I have made and worry that she will make the same, knowing that I cannot spare her from many of them.
As the day approaches that I will finally hold her in my arms, I think often about all that I want to teach her and what I want her to know, especially about being a woman. I know that I will make many, many mistakes as a mother, and that she will too. To err is human, after all. However, here are some things that I want to tell her:
God has given you specific and unique talents and abilities…don’t waste them. No woman is the same, and neither should you think that their callings are all the same. God has given you interests and gifts that He has given no one else. Cultivate them, pursue them, and develop them. He wants you to use them so that He may mold you into the woman He wants you to be.
Be proud when you are smart and knowledgeable. Growing up, I was always self-conscious about being “smarter” than the boys in school. This would sound crazy to you if you knew how intelligent and educated my mother is, but even as a young girl I had picked up on the stigma that guys don’t like girls with “brains”. Don’t be afraid to be smart and good at school. God has given you those giftings for a reason, and later in life you will only be looked up to, not down upon, for them.
Strength and godly womanhood are not mutually exclusive. Often times there’s so much emphasis in church circles placed on wives being submissive, gentle, and quiet that we think we need to tiptoe around like scared church mice. I don’t believe that’s what God wanted us to do either. Take one look at the women of the Bible and you will see that they were strong, brave women who knew their own minds. Esther went before her husband the king without being summoned, Tamar committed treason against her own people, Ruth left her family and all she had ever known, and Mary bravely faced disgrace and social stigma to carry her Savior in her womb. Godly women are also strong women…I believe they have to be!
Submission does not equal weakness. In line with the last post, submission to your husband does not mean being a doormat. It means letting him lead, but choosing to do so out of respect for him.
Be strong in your beliefs, but know why you believe them and what really matters. Don’t be legalistic. Don’t believe something just because your parents believe it, or because a pastor you like believes it, or because a boy you’re interested in believes it. Search the Scripture for yourself, pray, and seek God, and find your standards and convictions there. Standards and rules that are man-made and not backed by Scripture have legalism at their center. Don’t get caught in that trap.
Don’t change who you are for anyone. Don’t change your standards or your convictions or your beliefs to please anyone. If you have to change who you are for someone, then they are making you feel guilty for being who God created you to be. That kind of person deserves no place in your life. That goes for both loosening your standards and raising them. A person, especially a guy, who expects you to dress more conservatively or act a certain way for him (within reason, when you are following the standards you are personally convicted about) is pulling you into the trap of legalism. Steer clear.
Don’t look to guys to validate your worth. Guys will hurt your feelings and overlook you. I can guarantee that, one day, at least one (and maybe more) will break your heart. Don’t look to a man to validate your worth. Know who you are in Christ and find your strength and your self-worth in that.
You are a beautiful, captivating woman of God who doesn’t need anyone else’s approval to know that. God has created you beautiful and unique. He calls you His daughter…His enchanting, beautiful, precious creation. When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm you, cling to that. Find your strength and your personhood in Him and Him alone. Seek out who it is that He has called you to be and be it to the best of your abilities.
Embrace your womanhood. Being a woman is a wonderful, hard, challenging, joyful thing. Be glad you are a woman. I know from experience that, for all of the painful, difficult things we face in life, that the blessings are a thousand-fold more wonderful.