By Michelle S. Lazurek, Crosswalk.com
When my son was a few months old, my husband and I decided to try for a second child. It took over a year to get pregnant with our son, so we figured we had time. Much to my surprise, two short months later, I discovered I was pregnant! This meant my children would be 16 months apart in age. Talk about close! We opted to know the gender before birth, and we discovered it was a girl. If I'm honest, I had mixed emotions about that. I know what it was like with my mother growing up. We were a lot alike, so we often butted heads. I also worried about her safety and her relationships, but most importantly, her walk with God.
Now that she's a senior in high school, here are some things I wish my daughter knew:
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1. Being Like Mom Isn't as Bad as She Thinks
I have admired my daughter’s strength, determination, and ability to march to the beat of her own drum. Although she went through a period in high school where she cared about what others thought, I've always encouraged her not to allow other people's thoughts or opinions to dictate who she is or how she will react. Her determination and strong will will take her far in this life. It is a quality I have in myself and am happy to see in her, too. She also demonstrates natural leadership abilities. She can discern situations with wisdom and ease. The more she matures, the more I'm confident our relationship will grow and that I will not only be a person to offer wise counsel in her life, but she will become one to me as well. I enjoy our Bible studies together, and I hope she knows these are the highlights of being her parent. She not only inspires me to become more studious of the Word of God, but I hope I have taught her a thing or two as well.
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2. Society Will Say Her Worth Is Solely in a Relationship or Motherhood
But God does not define her as these things. She is still a woman, holy and uniquely loved by God regardless of her relationship status or the number of children he chooses to give her in life. However, she has begun her search for which college she wants to attend. I encouraged her to attend a Christian school, so not only would she achieve a strong biblical foundation within the first year of school but also make lifelong friends and perhaps even find a future spouse. Above all, though, I want her to strengthen her relationship with God as that's the ultimate relationship. Friends come and go. Relationships break up or continue. She will shed many tears over her relationships, both good and bad. But the one thing that remains is God. She needs to know that he is the steady anchor in her life. As she yields her life to him, he will be her Shepherd and never lead her astray. I also hope God blesses her with good friends who can give her wisdom and counsel when she needs it most.
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3. Her Career Doesn't Define Her
She may take many career paths in life. Gone are the days when people stayed at one company for twenty-five years and then retired. She will have many jobs within her lifetime. She may also choose to change jobs or career direction based on job loss or if she moves up the corporate ladder. She may also need to take time off to raise children or to assist his spouse in his career. I want her to know that all these things are okay.
1 Corinthians 10:23 says work should be the same as our worship—an opportunity to display Christ’s example to all whom we encounter: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Although work is important, she has plenty of time to make money. Although people misinterpret scripture and say, “Money is the root of all evil,” the verse actually says, “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” The source of all evil is the devil, not money. The love of money can lead to greed, broken relationships, and selfish ambition which are all the antitheses of what God wants for his people. There's a time and place to make money to help your family but should never be the ultimate pursuit in life. If my daughter pursues God, he, as her Shepherd, will always provide everything she needs.
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4. Integrity Is Importamt
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting. But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Although she's beautiful, there will come a day when her flawless skin will become wrinkled, and her hair will collect grays. But she is still worthy and beautiful in God's sight. Having good character and acting with integrity are essential to living a God-fearing life. Be honest and truthful with everyone. Make fair and honorable deals. Never cheat anyone. Submit when necessary, and speak the truth in love. Above all, act with boldness knowing that God will direct your steps. If she follows these things, she will live a life worthy of the gospel. And that is the best life to live.
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5. Life Is Unpredictable
God promises us an abundant life—abundant with highs and lows. There will be times when she feels as though life can't get any worse, and she will also feel as though she accomplished more in her life than she ever dreamed possible. I want her to know it's okay to follow her dreams, but never let her dreams and plans for her life trump what God has in store for her. As she considers her future career goals, I hope that any career she chooses will be one that she will love. I hope she works every day feeling like work is hard, yet she's accomplishing the work of the gospel and living out her God-given purpose. Although she will make mistakes along the way, I hope she knows that her father and I will always be a soft place for her to fall. I hope she knows she can always come home, but she'll always have a place to stay, and we will do our best to provide for her in good times and in bad.
Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs. I hope my daughter knows that I did the best I could and that I will strive to be the best parent to her as an adult as well as a good grandparent to her children. I hope we both strive to learn about who God is and his presence in our lives. I also hope not only will she have a vibrant walk with the Lord, but also her children will one day allow God to lead them as well.
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