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The primary way this legalism played out in my own personal life was in my practice of taking man’s teachings regarding what Biblical womanhood was and superimposing them onto the Scriptures.
The result (though I didn’t see it at the time) was that I was making the Word of God say something it actually didn’t say. I had my own box, my own system, my own viewpoint about what comprised a godly woman’s calling, life, and purpose, while the plain teachings of the whole canon of Scripture were largely ignored so that I might hold firm to that self-made box.
I fear that, sadly, my story is nothing out of the ordinary.
In fact, I see this happening quite a lot in Christendom today. We have our churchy stereotypes right and left as to what godly women are like – what precisely they wear, how they look, how they spend their time, and what they do, all the while we are pulling one or two proof texts out here and there in order to “support” said stereotypes.
In an age in which the culture is also vying for our girls’ attention with their own faulty stereotypes and images of womanhood, this is exceptionally sad.
We live in an age when so many lies from the media, the culture, the stores at the mall, and the internet are bombarding our girls, giving them dangerous ideas of what they should do and how they should be. Unfortunately, though, rather than being faithful to our job of providing the truth and freedom found in God’s Word, oftentimes what is happening is that we are unknowingly showering our girls with even more lies ourselves (just on an opposite side of the spectrum).
This is one of the many reasons why I am so passionate about teaching and writing on topics pertaining to Biblical womanhood, true femininity, motherhood, and a woman’s calling. Now more than ever we need to hold fast to the truth found within the 66 books of Scripture. And our daughters do, too. If we are ever going to be successful in our goal of raising godly girls, this is where we have to start. We have to be diligent and faithful students of the Word of God.
My Two Goals for Raising my Daughter to be a Godly Girl
In a time when we think we have to follow a long laundry list of methods and systems in order to raise godly girls, I just have two simple overarching goals for my journey of parenting my daughter, Anna. They are as follows:
Look beyond church and culture to the Word of God alone.
First, let me preface this one by saying that I am not disparaging the church. I am the church. You are the church. The church is the body of Christ, His precious bride, and we are to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together in our local church (see Ephesians 5:25-32 and Hebrews 10:25). The church is a gift and blessing in our lives, to be sure. We learn much from our churches and glean much wisdom from the older women in our churches who can pour into our lives Titus 2 style. We mustn’t ever forget that.
What I’m referring to in this goal, though, is the fact that, because the church is comprised of redeemed saints who are still fallible, we need to be as the Bereans were in Acts 17:11 who eagerly compared everything they were taught to the infallible Word of God to see whether or not those things were true. When we are daily bombarded by lies about motherhood, parenting, womanhood, and more (lies which will affect our girls, too!), we have to be able to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and renew our minds in truth (Romans 12:2). The only way we can do that is if we know the Scriptures.
As Jen Wilkin eloquently pointed out in a talk she gave at the 2014 Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference entitled Raising Daughters Beyond Stereotypes, we are making the mistake of ignoring the plain teaching of God’s Word and His design for women that He had from the beginning.
We are espousing the lie that marriage and motherhood are what comprise a woman’s highest calling rather than those overarching roles which actually do – those roles of being image bearers of God (Genesis 1:26-28) and ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
While I would love for my daughter to follow in my footsteps and be a wife and mama herself one day, I ultimately want her to portray Biblical womanhood in whatever way God calls her to, as she remains faithful to His Word and His design for her own life. That’s ultimately what raising godly girls is all about!
Look beyond my own personal wishes to God’s will alone.
While my dream would be for Anna to grow up, marry a wonderful godly man, have adorable little babies, and always live within the same town as me, I realize that that may very well not end up being God’s will for her life. This is where motherhood can be both heartbreaking and wonderful all at once! God’s will for Anna’s life may end up being for her to live her days as a single missionary on foreign soil. You never know! And while I would be heartbroken to only see her once in a while and would undoubtedly experience some feelings of mama worry, ultimately, I want Anna to follow hard after God’s will for her life – not mine.
Raising godly girls is not about grooming them to be helpmeets and keepers at home as I saw a man on Facebook say once. If my daughter becomes a help, solace, and partner to a husband and spends her days as a keeper at home, great! That would be awesome!
But that is not the sole purpose and role I am raising her to take on.
I am raising my daughter to be a diligent student of God’s Word. I am raising her to give her life to the cultivation of a deep prayer life. I am raising her to seek God’s face and His will for her every decision all throughout life. And I am raising her to be able to discern and heed His calling, whatever that may be and whenever that may become clear for her. No other goal for raising godly girls could ever equate to that one.
Fix Your Eyes on Christ, Mama!
What we have talked about today may feel very lofty, challenging, and just downright hard. As moms, we feel like we know what is best for our children and that if they would only remain in close proximity to us, then all would be well, right? Wrong. All will be well (Romans 8:28) when our daughters are in the center of God’s will all the days of their life. Not necessarily ours.
So, keep your eyes fixed on Christ, mama. Remember His goodness, His faithfulness, and His love for your girl. Remember that He wants what is best for both of you, sees the big picture, and has a good, pleasing, and perfect will beyond anything we could ask or think (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 3:20). Rest in this truth today, mama. And allow it to equip you in your journey of raising godly girls. God bless you!
ARE YOU A BOY MOM?
∞ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ∞
Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah’s first book, “Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)” released last fall, and the “Lies Moms Believe” Companion Bible Study came out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via The Home and Hearth podcast.
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