I am finally reading Dr. Dobson’s book Bringing up Girls. It is proving to be just as wonderful as Bringing up Boys. I have been sharing long portions of it with my husband, my girls and even reading aloud when we are all together at the dinner table.
There are two chapters devoted especially to fathers and they are so good! Definitely need to keep the Kleenex nearby while reading what a group of twenty or so young women had to say about their relationships with their fathers. Some heartbreaking, in the longing for the approval that they’ve not been given and others so preciously sharing how their fathers made them feel lovely and cherished.
Our oldest daughter had some friends over for a sleepover last night to celebrate her 13th birthday. Blue-eyes came home from work and presented her with a bouquet of flowers. She was so pleased. He also prayed for her before we ate cake. In the presence of her friends, affirming her and thanking God for her…..it’s good. She is learning what to expect from a worthy man.
The chapters that have made the biggest impression on me so far though were 5 and 6, Teaching Girls to be Ladies and Embarrassing the Angels. I have been thinking about what it means to be a lady and how, sadly, it is becoming a lost art in our society.
I thought of it the other night at Safeway when I went to get some gluten free bread out of the freezer. It happens to share an aisle with the alcoholic drinks and right there taking up aisle space was a rack of distasteful magazines. I mean, that should be considered completely inappropriate for a family grocery shop. I go down that aisle often with my children. Boys by nature are visual. God made them this way and it makes me sad that this is eye level for them. It also made me indignant because I am a lady.
I am a lady, raising five little ladies and two young men. When I go to a shop to buy ingredients to prepare meals for my family why should I have this lasciviousness thrown in my face? Why should I have to keep my eyes and those of my kids averted while we wait in line to pay for our purchases? It is a disgrace and a shame.
We do not have a TV at our house and we do not watch movies for entertainment for many reasons. We do not want to become calloused to this shameful uncovering of nakedness that is all around us. And it is all around us. The word of God calls us to live as a peculiar people set apart from the world. It also refers to God’s people as “pilgrims and strangers, who are in search of a city who’s builder and maker is God”.
I feel badly for the women on the cover of that magazine, and many others. Have you ever stopped to think that she is someones daughter? I bet she’s got a lot of hurt in her heart and confusion in her soul. It makes me sad that all of us have allowed this to happen. We are too willing to look the other way. To not want to be a prude. Well, I am not a prude but I am a lady and I am sick of the disrespect for women that is all around me. And not only for women but for men who are trying to live in chastity, and for little girls and young women who are wondering if they are lovely and for little boys who should not have to see grown women in only their undergarments as soon as they have eyes to see with.
I am not going to compromise my children. Why should I? No, I can’t keep them from seeing this ugliness but there is something I can do.
I can refuse to ignore it and look the other way. I can start asking, “Have you no shame?” It is a foolish mother who would let her little daughter play with the trampy looking Barbies and things they have out nowadays. You want them to aspire to that and think that is what beauty is? Then don’t at all be surprised when she is having sex with her boyfriend when she is 15. What we put into our minds and hearts and souls is what will come out. It is nothing to take lightly at all. We will give account to God for these things and we will watch them bear fruit in our children’s lives. Watching the newest movies and popular shows just isn’t worth the sacrifice.
At Safeway the other night I asked to talk to the manager. I told her that I go down that aisle all the time and that magazine is nothing to put in the presence of a lady. She told me she doesn’t want it there either but that she can’t make the decision to remove it. I need to make a complaint to the corporate office. I hope they listen. If I am a lady and I allow people to treat me otherwise then what kind of a lady am I?
I want my daughters to see a lady as a God fearing woman who is full of compassion and is gentle and good. But one who is also strong and does not tolerate abuse or sit by and let sin happen around her. I want them to know that a lady can stand up and ask, “Have you no shame?”
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and his law doeth he meditate both day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of living water, that bringeth forth his fruit in due season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” Psalm 1