Growing up in a home where both women and children were basically to be seen and not heard, women empowerment was a total and complete unknown concept to me. I watched and listened to my dad show his utter and complete disrespect and contempt for women. I was even told on an almost daily basis that I would never be anything or make anything of myself. It was instilled in me that my only job in life was to grow up and get married, cater to my husband and solely care for children. My father truly did not know these 7 ways to raise strong Godly girls!
As a child I watched my mom do whatever my dad demanded, to include care of us children 24/7, while my dad was mostly gone working and making a life with other women and children. My mom, just repeating what she heard from my dad, would always cut herself down. Although beautiful, she would tell you she was fat. Although extremely talented, she would tell you she couldn’t do it.
Even as a very small child I could see and feel that what was being fed to us females in our home was not right. Despite knowing that it was wrong however I repeated those words to myself. I fed myself a daily dose of “I can’t”, “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll never be able to do that”, “I’m fat”, “I’m so ugly”, “No one likes me”. On and on the self-bashing went.
It took me years to get over my childhood.
It took me years to realize the ugliness, the negativity, the abuse, was my father’s story, not mine. My late husband told me every day how beautiful and smart I was, what a great mother I was and how he “couldn’t do it” without me. More than my husband feeding me goodness however I had to learn to believe what he was saying. I had to learn to feed myself that positive talk as well.
Once I became a mother to a beautiful little girl, it occurred to me the importance of women empowerment. You see, I want my daughter to be strong enough, confident enough and have a big enough belief in herself that she does not lose herself to a boy. With that said however, I do worry about the women empowerment message that is being fed to our girls today. The message of not needing a man. The message that having children means an unfulfilled life. Messages that a career is the only thing that matters…and Christian Louboutin heels.
My wish for my daughter is to first and foremost know Jesus. To be complete in Jesus is what I want for the treasure I call my baby girl. I also want her to know the joys of being someone’s wife, helpmate, not doormat. I would love for her to experience the amazing feeling of motherhood for herself.
7 ways to raise strong Godly girls
1. We educate them
I can’t help but think of the young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for speaking out against them. For standing up and speaking out for the right of girls to receive an education. She did not allow that near death experience to stop her however. She has gone on to be an advocate for girls and women to have the right to be educated. Malala has written a book, and is the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Why is education so important?
For one, a girl who has an education is less likely to become a teen mother. She is more likely to marry and have children later in life. An educated woman does not NEED anyone else to survive. She can take care of herself completely.
Think about it, where you see poverty you see a lack of education. Have you ever heard someone say “I am the first in my family to get their high school diploma” or “I am the first in my family to get a college education”? It just seems to be such a sad cycle, and thank God when someone chooses to defeat the odds and conquer what seems to be the unconquerable. Once they do boy, they raise that bar high for their own children! Women who are educated raise educated children!
2. We teach them about money and how to be financially savvy
A woman who is financially savvy can not only care for herself but she knows a gold digging mooch when she sees him.
3. We raise them to be women after God’s own heart
I cannot stress enough the power that prayer has over our children! Use this amazing tool that God has given to you. Even when you don’t know what to pray, it’s okay, because the Holy Spirit knows. My prayer for my children has always been that they would love, fear and obey God.
Allow your daughter to see you being that women whose worth is far above rubies. Show her what unconditional love means. Teach her what a healthy fear of God looks like. Do not merely read God’s word for yourself but be obedient to it and teach her.
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” — Proverbs 22:6
4. We stop criticizing
To begin with, stop criticizing yourself. You are not fat. You are not ugly. You are not worthless. You are a beautiful woman created in God’s own image. What are you saying about God when you pick apart what he has created?
Do not criticize your daughter. Raise her up with kind words. Do not tear her down! As children, we are taught that sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me. This is a lie! It is a lie we need to stop teaching our children. Words cut like knives. They cut and they scar. Scars fade over time but they do not go away. I was physically abused as a child and I can tell you the mental abuse cut me deeper than any belt ever did.
5. We raise them to be confident
To help our daughters have confidence we have to be the example of confidence ourselves. Please know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Go after your dreams. Pursue what makes your heart sing. Show her that when we fall we can get right back up. Take care of yourself; mind, body and soul.
Ask her opinion. Whether you’re choosing an outfit or talking about politics, ask for your daughter’s thoughts. Only ask her opinion however if you are prepared to show respect for it.
6. We raise them to have a vision
Help her to learn what the gifts are that God has given to her and help her to create a vision for using those gifts. Encourage her and help her pursue her goals for God’s glory.
7. We teach them Godly character traits
Memorizing scripture is a great way to help them learn Godly character. Also, reading books and doing lesson plans on character are a fun natural way to learn.
“These commandments I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” — Deuteronomy 6:6-7
I wish you the best in raising strong, Godly, empowered girls. I will be praying for you Mama, and I ask that you will do the same for me as I bring up my little treasure.
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