Photo credits: Maria Wild
Spending these years with my girls, witnessing and nurturing every aspect of their life and development, bearing burdens, sharing joys, laughing, learning, raising girls is about the sweetest thing ever. Nathan’s mom always says that your children grow and become your best friends and confidants. I know our daughters are not yet big, but the privilege of having four girls is an overwhelming grace.
Everyone says ‘time flies’ and that the little years pass so quickly. So I wonder if I’ll miss the small moments of making braids for the second time today, and helping buckle little white church shoes, and cracking the same egg together for muffins. I realize that imaginary tea parties will end as will coloring pink princesses beside my littlest one. The next thing is not the same, beautiful as it may be, but gone too quickly.
Sometimes at home we like to refer to Nathan as the king, hence the girls are the king’s daughters. They love announcing, “The king is here!” when he pulls up the driveway in the evenings. But more importantly, they ARE daughters of The King. Sheer beauty. Loveliness. White as snow.
If we are teaching them to put on Christ, then we need to be ready to dress them like daughters. As I clothe myself in Christ, my girls can learn that their whole being is set right. Their status, self, refinement, and beauty rest squarely on Him.
As daughters of the King, we adorn them with virtues that are fitting for them. We teach them to strive for modesty of character that avoids an attempt to draw attention to oneself. Furthermore, modesty embraces the honor of reflecting the Light of Christ alone. “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:4)
Another value that we have been striving to endow with our not-so-little girls is a hunger for excellence. Each one obviously comes at this with more or less need than the other, but by giving them examples to follow and surrounding them with beauty in everyday creation we attempt to set them on that path. Music, literature, museums, art, orchestra, even just orderliness in the home help form their vision and desire for loveliness. Little daily tasks like table setting can help inculcate their enjoyment of grace and mastery. Naturally, we try to provide for their interest (archery, swimming, drawing, cake decorating, sewing) and by grace have some tools available to them here at home (art supplies, instruments, fabric, etc.).
We also want our daughters to be theologically well studied. That sounds a little stuffy, but, although they are still little, we include them in family conversation by asking questions, reading short portions of Scripture, participate in discussion, memorize verses.
My joy in my girls-become-women would be to see their confidence in their own callings be full of grace crowned with beauty. I seek for them to delight in service full of mercy. From a little age, we teach them to be careful of God’s provisions in our home and to be good stewards of all his material blessings. We pray that these little girls in our care have a longing soul for the weak, the needy, the hungry, and in faith give of themselves generously!
There’s no prescriptive way of raising a girl because there is no such thing as perfection. There is wisdom, and there are principles that we must build our lives around and nurture our families within. But there is also great freedom. Our daily puzzle is unique, and we shouldn’t be afraid to change and adapt. We all love fiercely and wrestle difficult decisions because we deeply care. There is no perfect or best way to do this job.
What a glorious thing!
I’ll end with my girls’ favorite verse:
“Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.”
– Proverbs 11:22
with love, Damaris