When I found out ‘child number two’ was going to be a girl, I felt a large burden on my shoulders when it came to my responsibility for raising a WOMAN. I evaluated a lot about myself and how I approached life and relationships. Turns out there were a lot of lessons I decided qualified as what I will not teach my daughter. I prayed my actions would show her a different example than much of what the world may try to show her.
I wanted her to be better than me: more respectful, more Faithful, less self-conscious.
One night, I started to reflect on what I did not want to teach her. I know it’s helpful to focus on the positive, but I think sometimes knowing what to avoid can help me steer my parenting ship in the right direction.
Knowing what to avoid will help me keep the path traveled as healthy and positive as possible.
While I can not live my daughter’s life for her, and I don’t want to, I do hope that she can keep her eye on what matters in this life and not get bogged down by the superficial or unchangeable.
This is my pledge to her as the mom of a daughter.
I will not teach you to study your reflection in the mirror more than the messages in your Bible.
What you believe is who you are, who you are is how you act, and how you act is what you give.
How much time you spend on certain actions is very revealing about what beliefs you actually hold true to your heart and not just speak from your mouth.
Vanity is a chronic disease. We all want to be presentable to not be mis-judged by another, but we can never control what someone thinks about us, we can only control how we act around them.
Exercise for health, eat for health and not boredom, manage stress. In the end all bodies fail-no one lives forever.
God made you beautiful; work with God’s definition of ‘beauty’ in you.
I will not teach you to be weak.
If you fall, get up even if no person will help you-God is always there.
If you fall and it hurts, cry. Cry and pray until the hurt is gone and then pick yourself up renewed to move forward and pray again, in thanks, for the opportunity to try over.
I will not teach you to be selfish.
It is not about you.
It is about what you can do for others.
You are a representative of your beliefs, so give of your time, talents, knowledge, and resources.
Giving does not guarantee receiving. Giving does guarantee God’s presence-concern yourself with what is guaranteed.
I will not teach you that life can be easy.
It will not be and can not be; ‘Easy’ is not the safe pursuit.
All have struggle; all have need; all have flaws.
Moments or seasons of struggle will teach and guide.
I will not teach you to value things over people.
If you want to pursue money, then live a modest, secure life and give to those that need-do not send yourself into poverty based on your giving, because then you become needy.
I will not teach you that being a strong woman means diminishing the strength of a man.
Appreciate the God-given differences of the sexes and grow into the woman that God wants you to be.
Cherish what you CAN do BECAUSE you are a woman.
Before you speak, respect God, your husband and yourself.
You respect another by being honest with them-your husband should be your confidant and will know your intentions, if not, then explain yourself.
Always speak from love and support for your relationship-God created it.
I will not teach you to give in on your Faith.
Hold your godly values even if you are the only one with Faith.
When values stem from Faith, they are steady and often unpopular. The crowd often has it wrong:
What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.
Humble yourself and listen to what others have to say, learn from them, but pray and analyze before backing down or moving forward.
Have faith, have courage; speak out when it is appropriate even if you are afraid of offending someone (2 Cor 7:8-10). Hold your tongue when it is not the time for you to share-knowledge speaks, wisdom listens.
I will NOT teach you to be selfish. Just Give.
By giving, you ultimately teach another to give.
Act humbly, walk faithfully, pursue endlessly, work diligently and pray.
Much of this list applies to sons as well, but it is rooted in many thoughts I had about being a woman and raising daughters in today’s world.