Raising daughters, part II: The father's love, endless talk, conjugal bliss, and work...

(Tim, w/thanks to the godly mothers, daughters, and wives of Church of the Good Shepherd who obey Titus 2) This is the second installment in a series of e-mails I received from several women of our congregation advising me what to say on the subject of raising daughters to a class on childrearing held here at CGS.

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Girls need both a mother and a father actively involved in their lives. Dads are immensely important in raising young women. A young woman ought to feel so securely loved by her father that she does not need to prematurely seek the affection of a boy. This means dad needs to give his daughter plenty of time, attention, and hugs. From how her dad treats her mom, she will learn what to expect from her future husband. If the daughter learns to respectfully submit to her father's care and instruction, it will be easier for her to lovingly, respectfully submit to her future husband.

Moms teach daughters how to be godly women by example and by talking through all kinds of situations and issues. Talking to your daughters is imperative. Sometimes this gets difficult if you have one who becomes private in her teen years, so then you need to really work hard at maintaining and growing your relationship. This will pay off as your daughters grow! How thankful we are that our daughters talk to us about all kinds of things.

The pastor (my husband) and I grew up with often said that the best thing parents can do for their children is to love one another. I grew up in a home where this was true, and my husband did not. We would echo the pastor's words on this. When children know their parents are completely committed to one another, this gives immense security to the children. When daughters see their dad loving their mom sacrificially (as Christ loves the church), then she will not be satisfied with anything less than this for herself.

Teach your daughters the practical skills of how to run a home. Start from the time she can walk, when she is much more trouble than help. (Also you need to teach boys to work, and this will include around the house. The chores we give boys and girls overlap, but we also have areas of difference for sons and daughters.) By the time your daughter is finished with high school, she should be able to do everything necessary to run a home - cook, clean, do laundry, know how to care for children, organize meals, shop economically, etc. Much of this instruction CAN happen naturally as you include your daughters in your daily work and spend significant amounts of time together. Moms who do all the work themselves are doing their daughters a serious disfavor and causing them to be handicapped. (I grew up very spoiled in this regard, and had to learn how to do many of the mundane household tasks after my husband and I were married.)

**I'm thinking of the passage from Laddie (Gene Stratton Porter) we discussed recently where the mother goes away for a month before each daughter gets married, leaving the daughter to run the large household on her own as practice.

Comments

Tim,

This is wonderful and blessed advice. Ever since dinner on Saturday evening, I have been thinking about a woman's natural (meaning God-given) inclination to submit. It is sometimes an exquisite ache when you have no father, no brother and no dependable church with pastors and elders. This inclination gets bent by our cruel times, though it is also bent by the fall, of course. And isn't "bent" such a good term to borrow from CSL in this context? It is bent by the way we are sometimes raised by our parents, but it is also bent by our peers, our music, our movies, all of it. Even Christian parents are not always as deliberate in countering the buffeting waves of influence their daughters (and sons) encounter every day of their lives as they could be.

I think this shows up in those very things you spend so much time teaching against. Specifically, in the infection our churches and institutions suffer called "Egalitarianism" or religious feminism. These women (and the men who support them) have never learned what submission is, or they are making the false claim of submitting to Christ while refusing to submit to the shepherds and husbands He has appointed to lead them. Some now even claim it is Christ who submits to the church! They claim Christ has called them to stand alongside their husbands as equals without sexual distinction and put themselves forwards as "pastors". They are the sole arbiters of any "call" or "leading of the spirit" they claim to feel. Of course, this is nothing to do with submission and everything to do with bondage.

These women have often learned what submission is not by genuine abuse, physical and emotional, at the hands of their husbands, fathers and pastors. Instead of recognizing the twisting of something good, they only see the evil they experienced and refuse to submit again, even in a proper and godly context. While they will vehemently deny if it is approached directly, this is the past that is eventually revealed by virtually every Egalitarian I have ever known. Rather than clinging to Christ in response to what is sometimes genuine abuse, they strike out on their own, claim their own authority and refuse to submit to anyone and anything other than their own wills.

But if you and your brother David, and your co-pastors and elders continue to be faithful, no matter how many lies are told about you, no matter how many calumnies cause you grief, no matter what is unjustly said against you -- your faithfulness will be rewarded. And you just may make a dear friend of one who was once a bitter opponent.

Kamilla

"And you just may make a dear friend of one who was once a bitter opponent"

This is very true, I know a few of those very people.

My earliest post on the blog (September 2006) was over a year before even thinking of coming to CGS - it was on this issue. With my oldest daughter, Amelia, I used to talk to her as if she was going to college. However, she was always being trained as a mom - so one day when she was around 10 she said to us, "I'm not going to college, I want to have a family"

What do you think my first response was? I was offended and angry! Then as she explained, I kept hearing her mother and my words coming out of her mouth and I realized that she was right - isn't it great to be taught by your children?

Thank you so much for your words of wisdom to those of us raising daughters and struggling through these joyful yet sometimes bitter times. Your words reminded me very much of the Deuteronomy 6 passage and reminds me that this kind of training can only happen in the fertile soil of the home.
The way we live our daily lives will speak volumes to our children. It is so silly when women think that working outside the home is more difficult or carries with it more responsibility than the job of raising our children. Sometimes I shudder to think what a muck I make of things and how it is only by God's grace that there is any hope for our children.

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