Thursday, November 10, 2011

Future Women Conference: One Mom's Reflection

Several hours after our daughter was born six years ago, my husband looks at me and says, “This one is different.” We’d had a whole year and a half of parenting a calm, compliant, easy-going little boy, and realized early on that this “sweet little girl” was going to be a whole new ball game.

So, when Grace announced they were hosting a Future Women Parenting conference, you can bet we were the first ones to sign up. Teach me how to raise a kind, loving, thoughtful girl? A teenage girl that will dress modestly, won’t gossip, or be mean to her “friends”? A teenager we will actually like? Yes, please, I would like the recipe for that.

I wanted to know exactly what to say when my 5-year old comes home from school and says, “Mom, I don’t like playing with Suzie because I don’t think she’s as pretty as Sally.” I needed answers.

And, honestly, I didn’t get all my questions answered with a simple, one size fits all answer. But, here’s what I did get:

  • We need to first understand and embrace femininity as it was created by God. Only then can we parent our girls with purpose and direction.
  • Our girls have been hard-wired by God to be relational. “Femininity is uniquely suited to find and meet need in the context of relationship.” It’s why, when they are playing with matchbox cars, my son will race them and fight with them, and my daughter names them and makes them into families. God created that, and it is good. I need to remember this when she is 12 and wants to text with her friends all day long.
  • Modesty is about displaying your femininity in appropriate ways. I’m not exactly sure what to do with this, but it’s the best definition of modesty I’ve ever heard. And I’m guessing that’s going to be a big issue for us in a few short years.
  • Her core sin is autonomy. It’s why she asks me (often), “Mom, why does DAD have to be in charge of our family?” And how important it is for me to answer her clearly and fully, and often. And know that she’s not just asking that out of curiosity. There is a sinful, rebellious heart inside her that wants to be in control of EVERYTHING.
So, maybe I didn’t get all the answers I was looking for. But, if I did, would I really need God as much? Would I look to Him, as the creator and author of my daughter’s story for help? Would I ask Him for wisdom in raising my daughter?

Maybe, I got more answers than I realized. Maybe, you did too.

- Braeton Beres, Children's Ministry Staff 

For more information about Ezer, click the image below. 

1 comment:

  1. Praise God for insights and answers! Like Braeton, I left FW Conf with several insights that put peace in my heart as a parent of a 9 year old (aka: budding teenager), such as...

    1) Start explaining the Ezer concepts NOW, so that unlike me, she'll learn them early and come into her femininity with more confidence that He designed it this way. She can then learn the strengths, and the potential sin, that comes along with our femininity.

    2) Have MANY conversations about puberty and God's amazing conception process, not just 1. Yes! It is a lot for them to comprehend. Like Ed mentioned, time before bed and car rides are times when our daughter shares her thoughts, fears, and prayers. We go to bed every night and ride on the car a lot. Perfect places to slowly introduce this concept, and create a habit of discussing it openly in a private place. Simple and effective advice!

    3) Keep a watchful eye for "advanced" uses of texting, and prepare her for this. Wow what an eye opener this one was for my husband. The more our daughter understands that she was made in God's image, the stronger she'll be at weathering the temptations of teen years. He has a plan for her, and the Nurturing and Partnering concepts of Ezer suggest she is to build up others. Succumbing to temptations brings others down, polar opposite of Ezer.

    We truly appreciate what Ed and his team put together here. We thank God for Grace tackling this area of biblical femininity and helping us to shepherd our little lady!