Aren’t little girls such precious gifts?
And to think, we have two! I so deeply want to do right by them and raise them to love God with all of their heart. Yet, I can’t help but shudder at the lust-loving, female-objectifying, girlhood-stealing culture that welcomes them with open arms.
Sometimes it all seems too intimidating to face, doesn’t it?
But God’s arm is most assuredly strong enough to help us against the most daunting enemies.
Here are some of the strategies that God has revealed to us as we strive to protect our little girls from the evil of objectification, abuse and lust.
- Pray for her. It’s not long after that positive pregnancy test that a mother realizes the well-being and security of her child are almost entirely out of her hands. She is left with this choice: a lifetime of desperation, or a lifetime of prayer. May she always choose prayer, prayer and prayer.
- Let her be a little girl for years—in her toy-box and wardrobe. Encourage little girls to play like little girls: dolls, kitchen, doctor, school, blocks, and good-quality books. Be very careful about the TV programs, movies, websites, and video games to which your daughter is exposed. And enjoy dressing your sweetheart like a little girl. Research shows that “dressing beyond her years” is one of the top reasons for early promiscuity.
- Don’t make a big deal about body image, natural curiosity, or accidental innuendos. If you can cover over these things with grace, you will be protecting your daughter from shame and unnecessarily mature information which you feel is inappropriate for her premature world.
- Enjoy dressing modestly with her. In a funny way, it was rewarding when my 3 year-old saw a workout video for the first time and asked, “Why are those ladies naked?” Of course, they weren’t naked, but to her, they were wearing far fewer clothes than we wear. I was grateful for her innocence.
- Teach her to have compassion on (and to look away from) paper women who are objectifying themselves; you and your daughters should be in the habit of looking away from the same supermarket magazines that you would expect your sons and husbands to look away from as well. The airbrushed images are just as damaging to females as they are to men. (And by all means, remove these images from your coffee table, and take them out of your bathroom baskets! Yikes!)
- Celebrate the beauty of her inner-self, which is growing more Christ-like each day. Our little girls should be able to see the same beauty in us.
- Give her full permission to SCREAM at the top of her lungs whenever she is in danger. Her high-pitched ear-piercing scream might get on your last nerve, but it is a God-given device of protection. Explain to her that if she is ever in danger, she should scream her lungs out. Have a screaming match with her indoors and outdoors so that she is comfortable letting it rip in both environments. As she understands this amazing defense mechanism, you may be pleased to notice that she uses it more frugally around the house. It will be good for you both to remember that you are worth protecting.
- Plan activities and conversations that tie your heart to hers. May both Mommy and Daddy take her out on regular dates, establish bed-time traditions, talk to her at dinner time, enjoy her personality and love her—no matter what the circumstance. Here are some books that have helped me to think about these things and to plan for the future: Noel Piper’s Treasuring God in Our Traditions, Dannah Gresh’s Secret Keeper Girl: 8 Great Dates for You and Your Daughter, and Carolyn Mahaney’s Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood.
- Fill her up with God’s glorious design for girlhood. Instead of focusing on all of the “no’s” and “don’t’s,” celebrate the “yes’s” and “do’s”. We’ve greatly enjoyed God’s Wisdom for Little Girls: Virtues and Fun from Proverbs 31.
What ideas have you developed to protect your little girls and raise them to love God with their heart, soul, mind and strength?