After marrying a man who comes from a family of eight boys, I was sure that I would have a houseful of sons as well. My current life is much different than I ever imagined it looking like.
I'm finding that it is one thing to feel strongly about something, say it, try and live it, speak about it, and something very different to be responsible for shaping these fresh little lives.
I'm trying to pay very close attention to the differences between my opinions ( the things I genuinely prefer), my convictions ( the things I very strongly believe make life so much more blessed and able to live surrendered to the Lord) and my foundational beliefs ( the few things that I cold never loose hold of without changing everything I believe about the Bible and my God). Now in everyday life, I should love everyone. I should love everyone who shares my beliefs as the family of God. I will probably have a great deal more in common with those who share my convictions. My opinions probably won't matter all that much to those who aren't very close to me.
But I am talking about my daughters! What things will I pass on to them and how will I do it in a balanced, God honoring, humble way? I've seen many "perfect" looking young women, dressed modestly, soft spoken, very accomplished, and as proud as anyone I've known. I've also seen many poorly dressed young women, with brash conversations, who truly loved people, but were very hindered in their effectiveness due to their lack of discretion. It would break my heart to have my daughter follow either of those examples.
I know that the heart is what matters. If the heart is wrong, nothing else matters. Truly nothing! And yet the heart clearly is not all that matters. If that were so the Bible would not have devoted so much scripture telling us as women specifically what His desires are for us. I often wonder if the Bible had said " Now I want teachers to always wear blue socks, nurses to never wear watches and postal workers to eat broccoli at least once a week" how we would respond. If we believe the Bible to be the living word of God I would hope that we would take heed of His clear direction. But why do we not take seriously things like "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety"or "I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man" ( 1 Tim. 2:9&12). Obviously God does not tell us to do ridiculous things ( like wearing blue socks or eating broccoli) but the things that He does tell us specifically as women I believe that we should soberly take a look at!
I am a firm believer in brain washing! I believe with all my heart ( okay, maybe not one of my absolute beliefs but at least a conviction!) that children are going to be brain washed by something. Always. The people or things that they are exposed to the most are going to be the main shaping influences for them. When we first got married I babysat a little five year old who had a potty mouth that came straight from "Sponge Bob" and parents that didn't take the time to train it out of her. This is the exact reason that we don't have any TV service. They do watch movies, but it is entirely in our hands what they are exposed to. That is also the reason we have chosen to home school. Please, PLEASE do not take offense if you are reading this and do not share our convictions. This is just what we have come to.
I feel like I could go on forever about the way I feel about headship, modesty, education, independence, submission and much more, but I'm sure that if you felt like reading a novel, you would have picked one up instead of coming here! Maybe I'll chop them up at later dates. But here we come to the original dilemma. How do I raise these precious little treasures in a way that I will not regret?
I know that it starts with prayer. I can do nothing on my own. I need to be down on my knees begging for wisdom from our loving Father who promises to give generously to all who ask for it.
Next, I need to work on myself! Many hours of talking about patience, love and unselfishness is so easily outspoken by a angry outburst from myself. Is the tone of my voice towards my husband backing up what I'm telling them about honoring their father?
.. but my heart is thrilled at the task that God has given me.
My goals for my daughters : That they would love the Lord with all of their hearts, souls and minds. That they would shine for the Lord wherever they go. That they would be prepared, equipped and surrendered to make as much trouble for the devil as they can. That their lives would be a pleasing aroma to the Lord. And that I would never think that these things could ever "just happen" on their own or without a fight.