Training Your Girls for the Future
Psalm 144:12, “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:”
The older our daughter becomes, the more aware I am of how little time I have left to prepare her to be the Christian wife she is meant to be. I believe God gives us children not to test our patience, not to grow our faith or to make us grow old quickly, He gives us children to train for Him. We see challenges through the training process, but these challenges can bring great reward and joy.
Several months ago, I wrote an article on the differences between “teaching” your children and “training” your children. Teaching a child is basically telling them “how to” do things, but training comes from “one on one” instruction that not only tells them how to do something but also shows them how to do it. I can tell our daughter how to make a recipe, but when I do it with her I train her the proper way of following the recipe and the quickest way to get the results needed.
God created me first for my husband and I am to put him first after God. Next comes my children, and with my children comes the great task of training them not to just grow up and be a good person, but to train them to serve the Lord. I firmly believe that if a child is given to us by God and they are being raised in a Christian home, I am to do all I can to help them, teach them, train them and groom them for the Lord’s work, not the secular world.
Mothers need to get back to spending good quality time with their children. Yes, we live in a busy society. Yes, many mothers have to work, but if we don’t get back to training and developing the characteristics inside of our children, we are going to lose the next generation of strong Christian families.
Our society does everything they can to pull our children to the world. The television promotes all the things we are against. Clothing styles never promote the decent and modest trends our children need. Purity has become a joke. We have to work overtime at keeping our children’s heart pointed to the Christian realm and making it fun and enjoyable and making them feel they aren’t missing out on all the worldly ways. I grew up in a Christian home and didn’t feel I was missing out on the world.
In the verse above, God commands us to ground our children, stabilize them and polish them for their purpose in life. You will notice especially that it says that we are to groom our daughters to be “corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” In other words, we are to make our daughters strong and prepared to be the wife of who she is to marry. Let me give you some ideas of how to prepare your daughter to become a good Christian wife.
First, train your daughter at an early age to have duties and to complete them. As soon as they are able to pick up things, they can help put toys away. As soon as they are big enough to pull their sheets up the bed, they can make their own bed. You can have them carry folded clothes one by one to a dresser even at a very young age. You are training them by giving them duties to help you, but then praise them when they complete the task.
Second, train her the basics of caring for herself. It’s funny to me that many mom’s think that they don’t need to teach their daughter’s the importance of personal hygiene until they are in Jr. high. To me, a young lady needs to be trained the importance of bathing every day from an early age. She needs to learn to wash her hair and keep it brushed at a young age. She needs to learn that she needs deodorant when she starts to sweat and has body odor. Teach them at a young age to do their own hair. Make sure they are brushing their teeth in the morning before school and at night before bed. They can learn to use mouthwash and be conscious of good breath. You can teach them at a young age to sew a button on and to iron their own clothing. Our daughter has been ironing her own clothes since she was in grade school. We taught her when she started school to pick out her own clothes the night before and to get out all of her clothes and have them ironed the night before. We were training her to prepare ahead of time so she wasn’t rushing at the last minute. Often because you scurry and do things at the last minute, you end up training your children to do the same.
Third, train her to be neat and tidy. Don’t allow her to be a clutter bug. From the moment our daughter could pick up toys, we taught her that she had to pick up toys before doing the next thing. We didn’t allow her to have toys that were strewn across the house and her room. By training her to pick up after herself before moving to the next project, it helped as she got older that she continued to pick up after herself. We taught her at an early age that she had to have chores and that it was okay to do dirty jobs. If you don’t have them scrub toilets, tubs, and floors, then they become prissy in the jobs they want to do. It’s not wrong to train them to get dirty!
Fourth, train her to cook. Make sure you train her well. Start with the simple things and work on meals together until she can master them. It’s very sad that so many young ladies cannot master a simple meal. I taught our daughter to make her dad’s favorite cookies first. We then had her help with the meals, and now she can cook many meals on her own. I want her to be a great cook when she gets married so that her husband is thankful that he doesn’t have to starve or feel that he has to fake how much he enjoys her food.
Fifth, train her to keep dad first and to seek his advice. We make sure when it is meal time that dad gets served first. He gets the best piece of dessert, the best seat in the house, his laundry is always done and cared for; whatever we can do for him so that he has a nice night with us, we do for him. Dad works hard to provide for us and to make sure the bills are paid and our needs are met so he deserves all the extra loving he can get from us. If I push our daughter towards her dad and she keeps him first, someday when she has a husband she’ll do the same for him. I also try to train our daughter to ask dad what he thinks about different things. If she learns to get his advice and opinions and to value them, she’ll also do this someday with a husband. Young girls seek and accept guidance more from the dad in a certain stage of their life than they do from mom. Am I saying you don’t have a close relationship with your daughter? No! By nature, our daughters have the desire to follow a man. As a mother, it’s our job to train them to do this.
Sixth, train her to have a submissive spirit. You’ll never train your daughter properly in submission if you personally are not the example you should be. Your children do know when dad has one idea and mom has another. Too often when this happens the mom tries to do all in her power to make things go her way. Sometimes it’s just mom wants what “I” want and not what works best for the rest of the family. Your daughters need to see that you are willing to set your preference aside and follow your husband. If she learns this, she has the key to a happy marriage, motherhood and what it takes to keep the family intact.
Seventh, train her to have a walk with God. If you don’t make them start reading their Bible and praying at a young age, why do you think they will instantly change when they become a teenager or go off to Bible College? A good spiritual Christian home functions the best it can when both parents have a walk with God. Often, one spouse will have a walk with God and the other doesn’t which brings a lot of inconsistency in a home. This is where the children learn what parent is weaker and the one they can get to bend the rules. The home has to run consistently to turn out spiritual Christian kids. I could’ve just said, “Christian kids,” but any home that is Christian can produce Christian kids. I want to go a step beyond and make sure they are godly and spiritual and want to serve the Lord. I want them to have the desire to have a relationship with the Lord and the desire to stay out of the world and wrap their life up in God’s Word, the church and helping others. None of this is possible if they don’t start developing a walk with God. We are spiritual on purpose, not by accident!
Eighth, train her to notice a young man with character. Although our daughter isn’t allowed to date in high school, we can point out the young men who have good qualities and character for their age. We aren’t against her liking a guy and thinking he’s cute, and we should encourage her to like boys and not girls! But, if we point out the good qualities in the young men around her, we are training her what to look for in a husband. Mention the great qualities your husband has and tell her that those are the types of things to look for in a young man. Most women end up marrying a man similar to their father.
When she does begin to date, stay on top of the relationship. Make sure she’s dating the right type of young man. If you have red flags, there are ways to discourage her from dating without causing huge fights between you. I believe if you train her right, are praying every day for her future spouse, and you have a great relationship with her, she’ll have an open mind to you when you do disapprove of her choice. We ultimately want our daughter to find a young man who will be a hard worker, serve the Lord and be faithful to our daughter. It’s so important you pray for their future spouse while they are young. I pray that the Lord will help him to grow up with the right influences that will keep him from sin and not allow him to experience the world and to be a spiritual young man. I feel it’s just as important for me to be praying for him now even though I don’t know who he is or when he will join our family. Ultimately, once our daughter marries him, he will guide her the rest of her life, and I want to be sure she gets the right young man. You want to keep a close relationship with your daughter as she dates. Don’t nag at the little things (if he’s color blind, his dad is bald, etc) but be aware and alert on the important things. Is he spiritual, is he involved in church, does he listen to authority, is he a hard worker, etc. If there comes a time when you just don’t have peace about a young man, pray him away. I say that because I dated a young man in Bible college who my parents never met. My parents lived thousands of miles away on the mission field. Yet, when my dad would daily pray for me, he just didn’t have the peace that he was the “the one.” He prayed for me to break up with this young man and we did. No parent wants to see their child hurt in a relationship, but if it takes a break up in dating to save their marriage down the road, the hurt that comes from a broken relationship while dating is well worth it.
We have our children for a very short time. The years go quickly and we must do all we can on a daily basis to train our daughters to be wonderful Christian ladies who will serve the Lord, marry right, be submissive, love their husbands and be great mothers. It’s not going to happen because you focus in on it the last couple years of high school. Train them now while they are young. It’s so much easier to train them to live by routine and character when they are young.