I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
In our modern age many parents have a new desire when it comes to their daughters. We desire that our little women be brave, be confident, be free, be proud, be fearless. My own two year old girl loves the Disney movie princesses that exhibit this personality.
None of those qualities in and of themselves are wrong. In fact, when nurtured rightly, they are are lovely, honorable, world-changing traits. But how are we going about cultivating them in our dear daughters? Is it through self-esteem, or through esteeming God?
With the waves of feminism pervading our culture, there is an emphasis on self-created strength, not strength in our Creator. The fight for women’s “rights” has made some positive impact by opening more opportunities to women, like voting and property ownership, but there has developed a sinister slant to the cause.
When not grounded in Christ, feminism morphs into a self-exalting mindset and a bitter rejection of God’s design echoing from the curse in Genesis 1:16.
All this is to say, Christians have to be careful that we don’t seek to push good qualities in our children through worldly means.
As Jesus exhorted us in Matthew 7:24-27, we should lead our children in building a house upon the steadfast, reliable, and eternal Rock of His Word, not on the sandy, fleeting, and weak philosophies of the world that will surely crumble and fail them.
Specifically for daughters, we must remember and teach them that they don’t need masculine activities or high-profile careers to deem them strong and successful, they need faith. They don’t need to see and idolize female superheroes like Captain Marvel, they need the Spirit-filled Scriptures with heroines like Mary, Lydia, Ruth, and most importantly, Jesus. They need Titus 2 models in their lives – wives, moms, missionaries, servants in their church, women using their God-given talents to glorify Him in every field.
Don’t forget that the Bible actually encourages women to be fearless, like Sarah (1 Peter 3:6). The Proverbs 31 woman is the fearless homemaker that she is because she fears the Lord. This fearlessness comes from trust, trust in their Savior.
Fearlessness is also only one flower of the beautiful bouquet of femininity that pleases God. This feminine bravery is not brash or seeking to be manly, it has its own pure nature.
As 1 Peter 3 outlines, it is paired with gentleness and hope, quietness and inner beauty, a sweet echo of Isaiah 30:15: “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength…”
With this said, how do we raise a strong daughter? What should we teach her as Christian parents?
She can ALWAYS be strong in the Lord. He is her strength.
“…fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
She can be courageous in the Lord. He is her reason for courage.
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
She can be confident in the Lord. He is her confidence.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
She can be free from darkness in the Lord. He is her way to true freedom.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
She can boast in the Lord. He is her pride.
“…let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:24
She can be fearless in the Lord. He is her defender.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
We teach her to have a BIG view of Him. When our daughters struggle with anxiety, fear, insecurity, failure, or sin, we can point them again and again to our omnipotent, good, unchanging, gracious Lord who made them.
A Lord who is loyal in His love, abundant in His mercy, generous in His grace, infinite in His might, and unlimited in His rule. A Lord who fights for His people, fights for her, to the point of giving up his own life on the cross.
With this God behind her, and working in her, she truly can do anything. And when we say anything, we inspire her to go forth and do work for His Kingdom.
“You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” – David in Psalm 32:7
And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.” 1 Samuel 2:1
Both men and women ought to source their willpower from God as they seek His specific will for them. Whatever God sets upon their heart according to His Word, they can be assured He will see them through.
This is what I will teach my daughter – that even when our strength fails, His will not. He is our joy and our victory.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26