Raising our Daughters with a Gentle and Quiet Spirit
I recently got the opportunity to spend an entire weekend with just my four-year-old daughter as my husband and son were having a boys weekend away.
It was so much fun! We dressed up, had a tea party, watched movies, smelled flowers, painted nails, pretended to know karate, played with fairy wands, drank smoothies, had a pillow-fight, and went shopping.
But most of all the weekend was an amazing blessing for my spirit. She is such a gift from God and exudes beauty in every sense of the word!
I have to admit I was a little bit worried about having a daughter. I was shy and lacked confidence in most areas until well into my late twenties. That wasn’t what I wanted for my daughter. But I didn’t really know how to instill in her a sense of beauty and confidence.
When our daughter was still in a crib I came upon a poster for 1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great importance in God’s sight.
I bought the poster and it has been in her bedroom ever since.
In the short time she has been alive, I have noticed how much more distorted society has become at describing beauty in women. Our daughters deserve better than this!
So let’s look closer at the verses and what they are saying.
1 Peter 3:3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
Girls and clothes. This first verse can certainly be a source for contention.
First it should be noted that the verse says “your beauty should not come from…” It does not say “don’t wear…”
My daughter’s poster is hanging directly above her dress-up princess outfits. Because there is nothing against a girl wanting to look outwardly pretty!
The distinction that is so important is that our daughters don’t believe that the fancy clothing is required for her to be beautiful.
There is absolutely a balance!
I want my daughter to present herself well both in character and in presentation. Therefore I buy clothes for her that are classy and feminine. I absolutely have a rule about the length of shorts, skirts, and dresses. Dressing well for a female does not have to be equated with sexual or provocative. And at the same time I want my daughter to know how to dress her body that compliments the way God made her.
The focus on modesty was derived from the rampant sexual immorality of the time. (not that that is all that different from today) And also modesty was so that the focus on clothing was not hindering their relationship with God.
Currently in society fashion for girls seems to be one of three things: bash boys through graphic tees, sexual/provocative, or asexual. All three of these are missing the boat on understanding beauty!
1 Peter 3:4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
Now we can get to the actual definition of beauty that “is of great worth in God’s sight”. A gentle and quiet spirit!
Gentle and quiet are certainly not the attributes that are being advertised for girls in society today! While shopping with my daughter we had to push past and search through many racks of clothing. Most were touting words such as bold, bossy, and sassy. Not the message I want my daughter believing or advertising!
The definition of gentle is mild in temperament or behavior. Synonyms are kind, tender, sympathetic, considerate, understanding, understanding, compassionate, benevolent, and good-natured.
The definition of quiet is making little or no noise. Synonyms are silent, still, hushed, soft, noiseless.
Let’s go back to the verse for one last distinction “gentle and quiet spirit“. Our spirit is our soul and emotional character!
You can have a spirit that is gentle and quiet and yet at the same time be passionate, brave and energetic when the situation warrants!
My faith and love for God provides me a gentle spirit to work with and care for His hurting people. And that same tenderness and compassion for others will help me rise up when necessary to protect the weak or less fortunate.
The consistent and constant love that God gives provides me a quiet spirit to allow stillness for others in chaos. And that same steady quietness will help me remain calm when the world around me is so loud.
So while I was initially apprehensive to have a daughter, I have found that my faith has grown just by watching her shine God’s light through her bright blue eyes and sweet smile.
And my heart fills and I thank God every time I tell her she is beautiful and she responds, “Thank you, I know!” She knows she is beautiful because she is a child of God and He made her so. She also knows she looks beautiful in her pretty dresses!
Please read my post 3 Ways to Raise Girls to be Classy not Sassy for more practical tips on raising our daughters to be who God created them to be!
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