What Every Mom Should Teach Her Daughter

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It is no accident that Kari Kampakis opens her book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know, with the subject of popularity. The first truth she shares with moms and daughters is this: Kindness is more important than popularity. Yes! She is right on. And we all (especially throughout adolescence) want to be popular. But our achievement of social success or bright confidence cannot come at the expense of others. It can only come through wearing love and faithfulness like beautiful adornments of truth.

Proverbs 3 encourages…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:3-6 together provide a powerful guideline for living in confidence.

Moms, the most important thing we can teach our daughters is how to achieve righteous confidence through faithfully loving our God, ourselves and our friends.

For more truths to share with your girl, check out Kari’s new book, 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know. It is full of amazing conversation starters, stories and scriptures to help you teach your daughter the most important lessons of life. ~FaithGateway Family

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We were preparing for family dinner and she wanted to help set the table. Honestly, the stressed-out, control freak in me wanted to do it myself. But I’ve learned to encourage her servant’s heart, especially when she takes initiative.

She was wearing one of her favorite outfits. With forks in hand (dear Lord) she stepped away from the table and started to twirl.

“I love how this shirt twirls, Mommy. Look…” she said.

“So pretty, sweetie,” I responded, affirming her 6-year-old heart.

“Mommy, I don’t like it when my shirts are tight on my belly,” she added  “it makes me look fat.”

I stopped dead in my tracks, half wanting to cry that my little girl was experiencing her first bout of self-doubt and half shocked that my teeny-tiny peanut could ever consider herself fat.

“Don’t you ever say that,” I began… but then I caught myself and softened my response. “Sweetie, you are absolutely beautiful and perfect just the way God made you. Honey, there is nothing fat about you. You have the most wonderful, little body. You are beautiful.”

“But Mom, I wore that pink dress the other day and I don’t like it. It’s tight on my belly and shows my stomach. The other girls’ stomachs don’t look like that,” she explained further.

“If you don’t like the way something fits sweetie, it’s okay to say you don’t like it or that it isn’t flattering. Do you know what flattering means? It means it doesn’t make you look your best. I understand that. Sometimes I don’t like the way things fit me. You don’t have to wear anything that makes you uncomfortable. But, Hope, please don’t ever say you are fat because you are not. You are perfectly beautiful.”

She nodded as if she understood and I let out a huge sigh as she left the room.

Really? Are we really there already? She’s not even encountered the ugly lies of bullies and haters yet. These are just the quiet lies of the enemy.

It’s only the beginning.

But I’m a woman and I’m 38 years old, so I know as well as anybody that it’s the early, internal lies of the enemy mixed with the later, outspoken lies of others that tear apart our hearts, bit by bit, until we are left feeling so worthless.

My almost-40-year-old self has realized after years of struggling with weight issues, identity, and lies of the enemy mixed with lies of those around me that the most important thing I can teach my daughter is confidence. But I cannot teach her to have something I don’t have myself.

Most of us girls are on a lifelong journey to understand the depth of our worth… the beauty of our uniqueness. My girl is just beginning her journey to confidence and I have the privilege of being her guide. I am a student and a teacher of learning to love who God made us, each uniquely designed according to His master plan.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Proverbs 3:3-4

It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I came across this powerful verse. Perhaps I was too focused on its very popular descendant (Proverbs 3:5-6) to notice the importance of these words. Now they’ve been planted deep into my heart and I’ve adopted this as my life verse.

At times I like to refer to it as “the popularity principle” knowing that all most of us want in life is to be known and loved and recognized. I believe this to be the formula for achieving that goal in a godly way. As my daughter and I walk along the path towards confidence together, I want to teach her and model these truths in order for us both to win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

What Love Looks Like

Love of God

To put Him first, above all other earthly desires. (Matthew 6:33)

To worship Him with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

To seek Him diligently with all our heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)

Love of Self

To understand we are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)

To believe we are His masterpiece, created beautifully by Him and for Him. (Ephesians 2:10)

To know we are worth dying for. (John 3:16)

Love of Others

To love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

To consider others and their interests more important than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3-4)

To encourage one another and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4)

What Faithfulness Looks Like

Faithfulness to God

To walk in His ways. (Deuteronomy 5:32-33)

To fear the Lord and serve Him in truth. (1 Samuel 12:24)

To be diligent in prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Faithfulness to Self

To treat our bodies as a temple. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

To renew our minds in order to discern his good will for us. (Romans 12:2)

To stand firm in the faith, ready for battle, equipped with the armor of God. (Ephesians 6)

Faithfulness to Others

To do justly, love mercy and walk humbly. (Micah 6:8)

To use our unique gifts to love and serve others. (1 Peter 4:10)

To keep our word and serve with gratitude. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

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Your Turn

What has been the most important truth you have shared with your children? How has it impacted their lives?

Jessica Wolstenholm

Jess Wolstenholm is an author, blogger and freelance writer. Jess became passionate about developing simple faith tools when she began to navigate the spiritual development of her own young children. She launched Gather & Grow in January 2017. Since the loss of her mom to pancreatic cancer in 2012, she’s focused on continuing the legacy of faith started by her wonderfully imperfect parents. Author of The Pregnancy and Baby Companion books, Jess contributes articles and resources about family and faith to Tommy Nelson, JellyTelly and The Huffington Post. When she isn’t writing, you can find Jess teaching kids at her home church or taking notes for the school PTO. She lives outside Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Dave and their two miracles, Hope (9) and Joshua (6).

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