Did you know that God equipped you to raise your daughter in Truth? I know, it may not feel like you have that gift. I often felt insecure when I thought about combatting all the lies coming at my girls. You too?
You’re not alone in that feeling—but it’s just, well…it’s only a feeling!
Here’s what you need to know—and this is so important—that emotion may be rooted in a lie about motherhood. And I want you to be wise to what that lie is, because it’s the number one lie about motherhood that I uncovered as I conducted focus groups with moms all across the country while writing A Mom’s Guide to Lies Girls Believe. (I promise I’ll tell you what it is very soon, keep reading!)
It’s a lie that I know very well. There were times of mothering my tween girls when I felt a deep sense of impotence, almost as if I was comatose and could not imagine what to say or do.
For example, when they faced friendship drama, I sometimes felt clueless about how to sort it out. Or when they wanted to buy that cute but short pair of cut-offs, I struggled with how to say “no,” without sounding self-righteous or implying that this was a measurement of their spirituality or mine.
The confusion overwhelmed me. I sometimes felt like there was no way to control what my daughters believed.Then, there were those euphoric times when I felt like I deserved the “Christian Mother of the Year” award. I felt superior to other mothers and believed I was in control of my daughters’ beliefs.
Don’t judge! You know you’ve been there too.
Just like Eve, you and I are prone to allow our feelings to control us. The emotions I had concerning my daughters’ developing belief systems and my parenting skills were evidence that I was struggling with a common mom lie. Ready for it. Here it is:
MOM LIE #1:“I CAN’T/CAN CONTROL WHAT MY DAUGHTER BELIEVES.”
This lie—actually two variations of the same lie—is powerful and preeminent. The first version of it tells us that we have no control. The second tells us that we have supreme control.The Enemy uses these two polar opposites to place us in bondage as moms. One causes complacency because we are fearful that our intervention wouldn’t help anyway. The other causes pride that we have everything under control, causing us to miss important cues when our daughters are in trouble.
I had one particularly perplexing encounter with a mother who never made it to one of my focus groups. She’s an articulate, intelligent woman whose opinions I was excited to hear for my research. When I saw her at a public event, I told her as much. She kindly explained that she would not be attending my focus group. I asked her why. She said, “My daughter is home-schooled. I monitor the influences in her life, so she doesn’t believe any lies.”
I stared blankly at her, unsure of what to say. Positive I had misunderstood or that she had misspoken, I asked her to clarify. And she did. She was confident her daughter was not at risk. Though that is an extreme example, I have found many moms who believe the lie that they cannot control or that they do control what their daughter believes.
The Truth is that God wants you to do everything you can to plant seeds of Truth in your daughter. No matter how overwhelmed you may feel by her behavior or circumstances, you are charged with the task of being faithful to present Truth. In a key Old Testament passage, the Scripture emphasizes how intentionally and carefully we must approach the work of teaching Truth to our children.
“Repeat them again and again to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road,
when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your
hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the
doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This may not be easy for you.
Like me, you’ll have days where you feel ill-equipped for the issue at hand. Even in the best of circumstances, you may face challenges. But some moms have special hardships. For example, in the focus groups we conducted for this book, many shed tears as they spoke of having daughters whose fathers—sometimes in the home and sometimes not—were unbelievers. One stepmother told me that her eleven-year-old daughter spends half of her life in her home, and half of the time with her biological mom who is an atheist. The girl is often told that Christianity is “a crutch” for weak people.
Don’t let your emotions cause you to parent out of fear. Yes, Truth will always have enemies and opposition, but don’t let that stop you from planting Truth in your girl.
In His Great Love,
Looking for more encouragement about raising your children in Truth? I’d love to invite you to join me on February 13th for a live online workshop with one of my dearest friends, Erin Davis. During Lies Moms Believe About Motherhood will tackle the top ten lies moms face as they parent their children (girls AND boys). Plus, my friend Janet Mylin will also join us to share how the Holy Spirit changed her entire perspective on motherhood. It’s bound to be a powerful night, and I hope to see you there for a donation of any amount!