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Monday, December 10, 2007

Raising Feminine Daughters

A friend gave me a book when my daughter was born. It is called "Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness For Mothers and Daughters.

I read and enjoyed the book. It made me really think about raising a daughter up for the Lord. It really seems like boys are straightforward. The only experience I have with boys are my husband and my son, and they are both straightforward with their desires, needs, and emotions.

Being raised with two sisters and no brothers, I can see the differences in th two sexes. Girls are truly complicated! My sisters and I fought over nuances, hurt feelings, assumptions, words, or inconsequential actions. My husband tells me that he and his brothers fought when they felt like it, usually after days of getting progressively fed up with each other. He has said that he solidified relationships with some of his closest friends over a fistfight. While my sisters and I never entered fisticuffs, we certainly knew how to show each other that we were angry. We would yell, cry, and then give the silent treatment. I still regress to this behavior when my feelings are hurt by my husband.

While dealing with fighting is a small part of raising a child, it is just one of the ways that males and females inherently differ. I am scared to raise a girl! When I found out Rebecca was a girl, I went through a few days of mild depression and anxiety. I thought the Lord would give me all boys and I had rather counted on it. Now I had this poor creature who would, by proxy, pick up on all of her mother's sins and insecurities and shortcomings. With a boy, I could sidestep some of those problems. It seems like boys don't worry about body image and food and subtleties of relationships. Girls do. I do, anyway! I just wanted to give my poor daughter a fighting chance.

Then the Lord, ever gracious, reminded me that I am not raising children, male or female, by myself. I have a Helper and Guide. Christ washes away that sin and bears the burdens of those shortcomings. God desires to take my insecurities and give me security in Him (Psalm 139).

Blessedly, the Lord provides me with learning opportunities on how to raise my children up for Him. Raising Maidens of Virtue is one of those ways. If my children focus on me because I am focused on me, then of course I will lead them astray. But if I keep my eyes focused on the Author and Finisher of my faith, they will learn (as children do) by example to live for God.

I love how the book gives examples on how to spend time with a godly young maiden. I am greatly looking forward to tea-time Scripture reading, shopping for classic, modest clothes, and talking about real issues of the heart. My greatest desire is to one day have an adult conversation about my Lord and Savior with a young woman who knows Him as intimately as I do. What a blessed day that will be. I encourage you to read this book and those like it.


Brandy said...

I'm so glad you liked the book. It sounds like it helped you in much the way it helped me! I, too, had a hard time transitioning to being the mother of a girl. It is funny to think of that now that I have more girls than boys and read books like Future Men to keep me balanced! But there really is a different way of parenting and relating that takes place. When the girls are a bit bigger, we will have a tea party and talk of things that are lovely and beautiful. Sound good? :)

Jennifer Marie said...

I really can't think of many things that sound better! :) How is Future Men? That should probably be my next read.

PS- Did you know the house right next door to us is for sale? And it has TWO linen closets! :)

Brandy said...

I like Future Men so far. I am about halfway. I keep putting it down and trying to implement what I learn before moving on.

I think the author is well-balanced in his approach to boys, and I like that he doesn't take the "boys will be boys" mentality, but really delves into what it means to grow up into a godly man, and how we mothers can help--or get out of the way! :)

Two linen closets. Sounds like a dream. :) Would you mind emailing me the address?


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