It’s everywhere. Commercials, movies, retail. The trend now is for the girl to be the lead. And she’s usually displaying physical strength, sensuality, or attitude…or all three. Certainly, positive treatment of women is biblical and beneficial, but there are consequences to giving status to females that is outside of God’s original design. One such problem with the push for redefining the female gender is the precious daddy-daughter relationship being under-minded and in danger of becoming extinct.
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
Give and find grace. Deep in her soul, most girls can sense that there is something unique about her relationship with her father. Of course, in this broken world, all fathers fail their daughters to one degree or another. Yes, the father-daughter relationship falls short of perfectly reflecting the love of the Heavenly Father for his child. But Abba-Father imprinted the father-daughter bond on families, and no matter how hard the Enemy and the world try to destroy it, His design peaks through all the imperfection. Pray for the grace to see it. And encourage His Fatherly way to be brought out in the father-daughter duos in your life.
And because you are (daughters), God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Gal. 4:6)
Be strong enough to submit. The world wants girls to believe they are so capable that they don’t need their daddies. Ask even the most courageous girls in the world if they’ve ever let their father defend them and how it felt. If they’re honest, they will tell you it’s amazing. And such a rescue directly points to the gospel.
Now my daughter…I will redeem you. (Ruth 3:11, 13, Amp.)
Guard your home. Don’t let the world’s messages creep into your family. Where possible, be a promoter of the sacredness of a father-daughter relationship and the father’s protector role, no matter how independent and accomplished his daughter may be. This glorifies God.
Glorious is the King’s daughter… (Ps. 45:13, Amp.)
In last week’s Keeping Room article, it was emphasized that youth need to stop believing lies about adults not being trustworthy, and adults need to do as much as they can to encourage kids to talk to them.
Meanwhile, the Dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, James E. Ryan, has just released a book entitled Wait, What? And Life’s Other Essential Questions. Inside this published commencement address, Ryan proposes a few key questions that he believes significantly increase one’s successes and relationships both personally and professionally. And, one of his questions stands out as being a great one for adults to ask young people…
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
1.When you’re talking to youth, use this question: How Can I help? In fact, before you jump in to problem-solve, give your opinion, or save the day, just ask this question.
2.If you love this “how can I help” question, check out the Wait, What book for the rest of Ryan’s suggested questions. Posing good questions could improve your communication with every person and every situation.
3.James E. Ryan is not the first one to model asking great questions. Consider just a few of the questions Jesus asked:
- Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Mt. 6:27)
- Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Mt. 7:3)
- Why all this commotion and wailing? (Mk. 5:39)
- Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? (Mt. 18:33)
- What are you arguing with them about? (Mk. 9:16)
- Do you believe that I am able to do this? (Mt. 9:28)
- Where is your faith? (Lk. 8:25)
- If I am telling the Truth, why don’t you believe Me? (Jn. 8:46)
- Why question Me? (Jn.18:21)
- Do you love Me? (Jn. 21:17)
Your kids may not have answers to the Jesus-questions just yet. But His questions are great questions to ask yourself at the same time you are asking youth the first question of: How Can I Help?
In the back of your mind, co-dependency is known to be a bad thing; but if you’re a parent with kids at home right now, you might be in a co-dependent relationship with one or more of your kids anyway. If you feel like you’re living your son’s or daughter’s life almost as much as s/he is, then you could fit in this category of co-dependency. Why is this happening? With the experiences, pressures, and influences the next generation faces today, some co-dependency might not be so black and white as days gone by; and a certain degree of co-dependency might not be so bad anymore.
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
If your co-dependency looks like the first list below, it may have gotten out of hand, and you might need some help balancing out your relationships. However, if your co-dependency fits into the second list, you’ve probably just adjusted to parenting the kids of today, and can successfully make changes when necessary.
Co-dependency with your kids is not good if:
- it’s impacting other relationships
- it’s tearing down your self-worth
- you’re trying to control and manipulate
- you’re jealous and possessive
- you cannot manage anger
- you significantly fear abandonment
- you inappropriately act their age
- your actions fuel immature actions in your child
- you’re so addicted you can’t conceive of the relationship changing
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ…For each will have to bear his own load. (Gal. 1:10; 6:5)
Co-dependency with your kids might be okay if:
- it’s not significantly impacting your identity, other relationships, or quality of life
- it’s motivated by love and blessed by the Lord
- you know it’s temporary
- the relationship is producing positive results
- you’re willing to make a plan towards an eventual, interdependent version of the relationship
- you’re accountable to someone to 1) help you keep it from becoming problematic and 2) support you as you bring the co-dependency aspect to an end, when the timing is right
The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1)
Young people get a lot of bad rap for technology overuse, but surveys indicate that large numbers of kids and tweens are feeling dismissed by parents who aren’t using good boundaries with their devices either. And surely you’ve been in stores or restaurants and seen babies or toddlers being overlooked by adults looking down into their hands. This topic needs exposure for the sake of future generations and family relationships.
Keeping Room Tips:
For Parents: Remember that your greatest priority when you are with your children is to be diligently teaching them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, and might (Deut. 6:5, 7; Gal 5:13). The more distracted you are by text, email, and social media during those precious times together, the less you are leading your family to God.
For Youth: Ask the Holy Spirit to give you patience (Gal. 5:22) when your parents are in the midst of a task on their devices, but do speak up and ask them when you need their full attention. Most likely, they want to be available to you, and just need your respectful request to help them stay on track.
For All: Look precious young ones deeply in the eyes and give them your full attention (Mt. 19:13). Practice technology-free blocks of time in such a way that others can be inspired. Pray for relationships that are suffering because of distraction and are in need of care and connection.
The incidences are high of married couples whose marriages become strained or even end when they endure something tragic, such as the loss of a child. It really is not surprising that men and women grieve, process, and experience emotion very differently from one another, and hardship is certainly a time the differences are revealed. In addition, different personality types react to certain challenges in very distinctive ways. If you are walking through a hard season of life – joined by your spouse, family members, or close friends – and their gender or personality prevents them from responding in the same way you are, it is time to create an atmosphere for varied paces.
Keeping Room Tips:
“God is the God of ALL comfort…” Paul says “ALL comfort” to mean that God’s comfort covers every trouble possible and every style of responding possible. Go to Him. He is the perfect answer to the person in denial as much as to the person who feels despair. Whatever you are feeling during your time of trouble, He has the comfort to match it.
“(He) comforts us in all our troubles…” Things can go wrong when family members expect one another to provide the “right” comfort that they need. Each time your loved one frustrates you because they aren’t sensitive to how you are responding or they aren’t responding the same way you are, it is a sign for you to go to the Comforter so that you don’t put unrealistic expectations on others to do for you what is meant to be done by your Father.
“…We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” You will begin to behave in very powerful ways when you have been comforted by God. You will no longer have a desperate need for others to meet all of your needs. You will no longer feel it necessary to fight for your style of enduring troubles, since your style will have been validated by God. You will even find yourself able to put aside your own emotions for a time so that you can comfort others with the comfort you’ve been given by God. If you and your spouse or loved ones are receiving comfort first from God – then when you come together – rather than draining one another, you will have the reserves needed to build one another up and grow closer to one another through the time of trouble.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
Because God specifically created His people as male and female, amazing relational feats can be accomplished through the unique ways that God designed His girls. To the extent that females are made in the image of God, they are naturally nurturing and relational, and were created to be the relationship teachers for mankind. But ever since the Mother of All Living sinned and fell short of her design (Gen. 3:20, 6), girls can really struggle with knowing how to express their feminine calling, and they continue to face many obstacles along the way in this fallen world.
Some of the greatest hindrances for the modern female include:
- Struggling to believe they are worthy
- Needing to overcome the absence of holy, female role models in their past
- Requiring skills in knowing when and how to regulate their emotions
- Wrestling with how to navigate social situations in order to build relationships
- Missing the components of good decision-making
- Living in a culture that celebrates status over discipleship/sanctification
- Losing innocence at young ages
- Falling for the lie that submission is necessarily oppressive
- Managing time in a way that omits the riches of God’s Word
Keeping Room Tips: Consider whether you would like to try a special way to develop your female character.
The Opportunity: A safe small group with an experienced facilitator, where mothers and daughters can grow together towards greater discovery of God’s beautiful design for females.
Who: Perhaps you are a daughter who would like your mother to better understand the world in which you live, so she can better support and guide you…Perhaps you are a mother who longs to teach your daughter what you were never given, but you don’t know how…Perhaps you are passionate about girls overcoming hindrances to modern female excellence and you feel that God is calling you to this group…If any of these fit you, this group might be for you.
When: Groups will be formed according to needs and stages of life and will run for the duration of the summer, according to the schedule of participants. Fees will vary depending on the size and frequency of groups. To ask any questions and to register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to forward this article to any mothers or daughters you think may be interested.
Women Accompany Jesus and the Disciples…[Jesus] went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve [apostles] were with Him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled; and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many other (women), who ministered to and provided for Him and them out of their property and personal belongings. (Luke 8:1-3, Amp.)