Raising Girls
by Joanne Ellison

Good morning Drawing Near community! The favorite part of my week is to blog on different subjects of interest and normally of interest to both men and women. This week I am addressing a subject that was brought to my attention by one of my Drawing Near leaders. And by the way, these leaders are women who serve as facilitators in the Bible study I lead. For those that cannot attend live, the study is also available via streaming. This semester we are doing a study I wrote a few years back called Living In God’s Presence- mostly based on the life of Moses, called a friend of God.

But this morning, I want to discuss a subject near to my heart- raising girls. I did raise a son too, so perhaps I will  blog on that in the future. Much has been written in recent years about raising girls up to be equal to men. Equal pay- check! Equal rights- check! Equal before God- check! All good.

In God’s eyes, girls, are created with unique and innate gifts and are often intuitive, relational, and nurturing. Now obviously that is not the case for all girls, however they seem to come hard wired with some of these attributes. So how do we raise girls to be Godly women, taking their place in our culture that sometimes speaks a different language than we find in Scripture? My leader said to me that she is sick of hearing about the Proverbs 31 woman. Well, so am I from the standpoint that this woman is doing way too much and seems way too perfect! Culturally, the woman in Proverbs was doing the things that her culture dictated, but the essence of her work was caring for her family and working hard for the good of her family. Now that is something that is timeless. Many women work in the home and outside the home, but regardless, what we see in this passage, is a woman that is not a slacker.

Translating the Proverbs 31 woman into raising girls today, I would say that we  need to teach our girls that they have a place in the world using their God-given talents and their uniqueness as a woman. We teach them to love the Lord with all of their hearts and to love others as they love themselves. We teach them to do all for the glory of God and to enjoy the way that God has wired them. We teach them to love themselves because they are God’s glorious and stunning creation. We teach them that it is okay to cry and be feminine, and good to work hard and be ambitious for God. Tell your daughters that we celebrate their lives and they are worth far more than gold. Tell them that it is not okay to have someone abuse them in any way and that their bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, the place where God dwells, that is sacred.

The world may tell our daughters that they are powerful and smart and strong.

God’s Word says they are powerful and smart because God empowers.

The world may tell our daughters that their identity is in what they do. (It’s a subtle message but nevertheless it is a message that is out there.)

God’s Word says that their identity is in Christ.

Friends, raising daughters is a priceless gift. As women, we sometimes find ourselves worrying about their future in a world that is shifting as we try to instill Christian values in them, helping them to become extraordinary people led by God in the power of God. Our job is to guide, to speak truthfully, and to recognize their beauty within. And as we do, we will watch a miracle- the magnificent uniqueness of a woman unfold- strong and yet humble, powerful and yet weak, transparent and bold.



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  1. Martha

    It concerned me about comment made about Proverbs 31 women. What t u sick and tired of? I think Lisa does a wonderful job declaring and teaching God’s word and His desire for us

    • joanneellison

      Proverbs 31 woman is whom I aspire to be. I was referring to a mother with young children who felt that she could never live up to the woman described. My blog was meant to speak to mothers who are exhausted and trying to keep up with perfection and my point was that though culturally we do not do the same things as the women in the O.T., we are called to work hard and love Jesus putting Him first. I understand the sentiments of this young woman who loves Jesus and thinks she cannot measure up to the Proverbs 31 woman. In Christ we can do all things but we will never be able to do them perfectly. I am hopeful that young Moms will be encouraged to remember that. And by the way completely agree that Lisa does an outstanding job unpacking what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman.This was not about Lisa.


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