Mothers and Daughters

In all things related to our lives and duties, we are either building up or tearing down. None of us builds perfectly, even on our good days, but we want to be making visible progress, not always cleaning up after our mistakes. So I’m going to start posting a few suggestions on how mothers can build up their daughters. Today, part one.

Our daughters want to know who they are and what they are supposed to be doing as women, even when they are little. God has obviously designed us with a purpose, and He has kindly laid that out for us in His Word. And His Word reinforces what is built into our feminine natures by design. He created us. It makes sense that when we live in harmony with Him, we find joy and peace in who we are in Christ. We don’t have to flounder around guessing.

But the “worldly wise” refuse to acknowledge that our Creator, the One who made heaven and earth,  knows what He is doing in creating us. They feel called upon to correct Him and to rectify His “errors” in creation. Plenty of voices compete for the microphone,  insistent that we line up and follow them, living our lives their way. It’s truly comical to see bossy feminist women (for one example) shouting at Christian women, telling us what to do. “Don’t obey your husband, you idiot! Obey me!”  Some throw complete tantrums over this, just like the two-year old in the candy aisle of the grocery store. Don’t they see how foolish they appear to the watching public? And they wonder why we don’t want to be like them?

So my point here is that mothers need to raise their daughters to unashamedly know who they are. This gives them a tremendous sense of security.  What a blessing and a relief it is to know everything is not up for grabs. When my youngest was a little squirt, we had gone to the doctor for an ear infection or something. We saw one of the physicians we didn’t normally see, and we commented about some of the little drawings that were hanging in the room. The girl drawings were of little houses with smoke coming out the chimneys and flowers in the front yard; the boy drawings were of ships and airplanes, mostly with things shooting out from them. We had laughed at how easy it was to tell the difference. But the physician bristled a little and said something about how the poor kids had been “programmed” to do what was expected of them. How funny! Of course they had been programmed. By a wise and good God! After we got in the car, my daughter said, “She needs to have some kids.” This was not only funny, but very insightful!

Psalm 144:12 has a lovely metaphor for this: “…that our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” A cornerstone is, among other things, a significant part of the structure. It bears much weight and has stature and standing. It is foundational. And this cornerstone is in a palace; it is fine polished marble. Women have much significance in the family, in the church, and in the culture. They have a profound role to play. So mothers, give your daughters a good job description. God certainly has.

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12 thoughts on “Mothers and Daughters

  1. When our oldest daughter got into her teens, people began to ask her what career she was interested in. I encouraged her to answer directly and truthfully, “I want to be a wife and mother.” That is not the answer people are expecting to get when they ask that question. Tee-hee.

  2. Nancy,

    This is fabulous, especially that last paragraph! I am really looking forward to your further posts on this topic. I have so much to learn here — and unlearn — having been raised in a feminist culture in the mother-ruled home of my chldhood, in pagan schools and even at church.

    Now we have three daughters, all teen-aged and older and they need some mind renewal, too. We have seen the sins of the father (and mother) visited on the daughters of four generations, and I can only guess at what went on before.

    But our family has also seen God’s grace as we are in the midst of a long, often painful, season of remediation. Our earnest prayer is that He will restore the years the locusts have eaten.

  3. Thank you for this article. I look forward to read more on the subject. I had 5 boys before I had our two girls. The oldest girl is only 2 1/2 but she delights in helping to do the laundry and wants to help me or her brothers do there chores. There is a definate difference in how they few things.

  4. I like that: “a good job description.” And watching my mother, it’s a huge job description. I used to think that it was only keeping the house clean and making dinner. But a woman is helping to make a culture, like my dad says, “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” She is part of the structure. To say that my mother is “just” a wife and mother belies the number of people who weave in and out of her influence.

  5. Kirsten, that reminds me of what I do now and then…I’ll be doing the requisite Standard College Student Conversation, Them: What are you studying? Me: Law. Them: So are you considering a career in law? Me: No, what I *really* want to do is get married and have lots and lots of kids.

    The facial reactions are often priceless.

  6. So, Mrs. Wilson- How are we to react to “Career Day” held in kindergarten, even at some of our Christian schools? Where boys and girls alike pick a career, and yes, I believe that “Mom” is on of the options, but none in my son’s class picked that option. My daughter is 3. I really worry about this because I spent years battling my identity/career crisis, until we found a culture that actually encourages wives to serve first in their homes.

  7. Mrs. Young,

    I would suggest you not react at all. It would be better to just be the kind of mother who delights in the home and the family. That, combined with teaching, will enable your daughter to make the right choices, both in kindergarten and beyond!


  8. I am looking forward to this discussion in a big way. We adopted our daughter from a foreign, matriarchal society when she had just turned five. After a week home, she asked me when “he” was going to leave. “He” was my husband and her new daddy. In her experience, women were heads of homes, living alone with children and supporting them, taking in male lovers for a time and then being abandoned by those men or kicking them out (sometimes after the baby came and sometimes before). Our daughter has always been extremely independent, rebellious, leaning towards the feministic in all things. If you think children don’t have an understanding of their world (the doctrines, the rules, the lies, the “truths”) by that age, I would have to strongly disagree with you! We’ve always been aware of her skewed beliefs about the world and her place in it, and our teaching and our prayers have always been focused on helping her overcome these things and put on the mind of Christ. It has been a struggle for all of us for over ten years now, and while God has given us the blessing of a peaceful home with a wonderful marriage and obedient children, we ask Him daily for our daughter to have a truly trusting and submissive heart–not only toward us, but towards Him. Feminism is all around us, not only out there in the world (coming at us through the magazines on the supermarket rack and the TV at the beautician’s) but also in our families and the Church as well. We need all the help we can get to combat its influence—so we thank you, Mrs. Wilson, for your writing and your teaching and look forward to this series.

  9. Don’t you think that even amongst the pro-homemaker crowd there is sometimes a subtle message that it’s not quite enough JUST to be a housewife? You know the sort of thing – Mrs. Whoever is a mother of 12, runs a thriving home business, writes multiple books and articles, and in her spare time blah blah blah…
    Which may all be true, of course, and God bless her; but for some women, and at some seasons in a woman’s life, it’s surely enough (and often feels more than enough) just to ‘keep the home’.

  10. It’s true, girls and boys take certain delight in different types of things.
    Having both girls and a boy and raising them equally the same they have different interests, and yes they are stereotypical, praise God!
    My girls love to help with the house and are very nurturing in their play and delight in being rescued while my son loves to use tools and dig and run and shoot and be the hero.
    Woman was created as a helpmate (first came Adam then came Eve), that is how we are wired by God. We should take great pride in allowing our girls to be girly, it’s just one of the ways God intended there to be a difference between male and female.

  11. Ellen–yes! I agree with you! Keeping the home is a big job. Children need it nd so do husbands. It’s LOVE to them that we care for the home and prepare good, nourishing meals. It’s love that we bake sweet things for them! 😀 And all that takes time. There are seasons to life and we need to learn to be contented in our seasons and also to be strong in our resolve when others come along and tell us we aren’t doing enough. If our family is cared for and our husbands feel it is okay, then yes, if we want to take on a job at church (etc etc) then that’s great. If not, we should not feel guilty for not doing “enough.” Easier said than done sometimes though!

  12. I remeber when my second (now 5) was about 15 months old, and about as big as a minute. We were at our church family camp, and a few of us were waiting outside the cabin with our little ones for some stragglers to catch up. There was another little boy there about 3 months older, and the two were toddling around in the dirt and pine needles. The dynamic between the two made us all laugh out loud.

    The boy would pick up a stick, stomp over to a dirt clod and stab it with great gusto and enjoyment, then pick up a rock and throw it at the dirt clod just for good measure. Then our daughter would wobble after him, pick up a wisp of a stick between her thumb and first two fingers, carry it delicately to another dirt clod, and tap at it gently as she looked to the boy to watch his excitement. Not only was the gender difference obvious in their play, but I was struck that it was she who followed him, and not the other way around.

    Sometimes it takes my breath away how much fun it is to see how my girls are programmed! I can dress them in Converse and skinny jeans, and they still want to wear a skirt over it all. And when I watch them devise ways of making housecleaning fun, that’s proof they’re wired to enjoy being girls.

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