Wednesday Wisdom Tip: When Our Daughters Will Want God
I am so excited to have my friend, Lisa Whittle, the author of I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revivial of Your Soul, sharing with us today. We’re giving away a copy too!
When Our Daughters Will Want God
Our girls are watching us.
We know this, and sometimes we cringe. Because we know of our imperfections…our battle to love our body…our struggle to handle relationships well, read our Bibles and stay close to God.
We wonder: how can I be what she needs me to be and be who I need to be, too?
I know my daughter is watching me. I see her mimicking my mannerisms without even being aware…following in my mommy footsteps.
She’s 9, and it’s the first time I’ve taken her with me when I speak, all the way in California. She wears a Christmas dress from Target – maybe the cutest one I’ve ever seen – and sits in the crowd while I take the stage, hanging onto my every word.
(I know this, because afterward she tells me back one of my stories, only she sounds far cuter.)
And then, we fly home. And I think the event is over.
But just days later, she starts doing something. Without announcing she has a new name for me or exactly why she replaced my mommy one with this one in particular, she starts calling me, with dramatic flair, “woman of truth.”
I ask her to empty the dishwasher. “Ok, woman of truth,” she grins and says back.
I ask her to please take the dog out…turn off the tv…clean up that incredibly messy room, and with all requests I am met with the same response – the “woman of truth” one.
I know…it’s just a name and she’s being a little silly. I know…she’s not really thinking about what it means. But I am reminded…with what I say and what I do…she’s there, watching.
And I know this very important thing: she needs me to back up what I say with my life.
I understand that if she could really verbalize what is going on in her mind it is likely something along the lines of: please be a woman of truth so your words match your life…and if I’m completely honest, it scares me to death.
I want to be a woman of truth. I want to raise her to be a woman of truth, too. But I know myself. I know I may get in the way. I know, because I am human, I may mess her up. And I desperately don’t want to.
This phrase she has somehow taken to calling me has brought out all my mommy insecurities and reminded me, all at once, that in order for me to be a woman of truth, I’m going to really need God.
The truth is: we all really need God. We need Him to help us be better than we are able, wise beyond our understanding, steady and discerning and grateful and a really good mom.
But it has to go beyond that.
In order for our girls to want God in that passionate way He wants, we are going to have to show them what that looks like.
* Saying yes when He asks us to do something hard, helping them learn to trust Him.
* Rising above our need to gain the approval of other people so they won’t waste their life away fighting to be popular.
* Integrating Him into every area of our life, not just relegating Him to Sunday visits so they understand how to make Him a part of their daily life.
And will we be perfect? No.
But can we be their greatest spiritual influence? Yes.
Because when our daughter’s see us wanting God more than anything else, they will know how to want Him in the same way, too.
Today, I’m giving away a copy of I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revivial of Your Soul. Please share one way you think we can show our girls we want God. Just leave a comment below and I will announce the winner this Friday!
To read more about I Want God, click here.
To connect with Lisa, visit www.LisaWhittle.com.
|Also at:Instagram: http://instagram.com/lisawhittleTwitter: https://twitter.com/LisaRWhittle
Loved what you had to say, and I pray that my girls will hunger and thirst for Him! When I first became a mom, a verse that had an impact on me was Deuteronomy 6:7 and I have tried to show my girls how to have a relationship with God by talking about Him and His character, ways, and commands “all the time.” By admitting my own struggles to put God first – such as choosing to get up early to spend time with Him even when I would rather sleep in, or verbalizing how I am choosing to obey His Word even when it is hard, I hope I am showing them how to honor God. Thanks so much for the encouragement and reminder that they are watching and learning all the time!
Making God a priority not a last resort. Praising him in the storm not just the sunshine. I also show my son we pray for people in need as well as our family not just when we need something, but all the time without ceasing!
I did daycare for a number of years and decided early on to invest in the little one’s lives by reading only Bible story type books to them; not sure what the impact was/has been but it put truth into them they otherwise would not have received. Now, at 59, I have the privilege of ‘investing’ in young Moms, encouraging them to cherish the challenges – their babies will one day grow up & leave (we hope (-;). For the last few years, God has prompted me to offer ‘date nights’ for a young couple in our church who have no family to step in and help. My husband, thankfully, is willing to step in and help as well. It’s such a joy to hang out with the ‘littles’ as well as the delight on the parents faces as they get a break. We don’t have biological children but God has blessed far above all we could ask or think in ‘giving’ us nieces, nephews, and young friends to bless!
Spend time with Him. Talk to God as a friend. Talk to him about everything. I have tried to teach my 3 daughters that you can talk to God about anything no matter how big or small the issue is. I have also tried to teach them that even when you are angry or question God, you can still talk to him & he will listen & not turn you away just because you are angry. I have also tried to compare a relationship with God as with a friend in the sense that when you want to have a more intimate relationship with someone you spend more time with them.
I love connecting with my girls and one way for me is to keep praying that the Holy Spirit will speak to them by my words or actions and minister to them in this way. I pray my love of the Lord will flow through so they will see, feel and know!
Thank you so much for your ministry, God bless you.
The way I show my daughter that I want God in my life is to let her see me spending time every day reading God’s Word and praying for her and with her. I want her to remember long after she has left our home that her Mom spends time with the Lord daily and that she is being prayed for. I also want her to have that example to follow.
I pray with my youngest daughter. It gives us both a great level of comfort.
This is a powerful post and holds many thoughts I share. I want my daughters to want God and I know they are watching me to see what that looks like…so thankful for His grace and strength. I have read Lisa’s book and it is wonderful…one of my girls had the opportunity to meet her at our event a couple of years back and Lisa, Joy’s interested in what you have to say once again!! Thanks for pouring in to many!!
WOW our ladies bible study is talking about just this very thing, trusting in God and seeing ourselves AS HE SEES US!! he delights in us and we want to self talk knowing our kids/daughters are watching ……sharing this article with my bible study today!!! precious!!!
Lisa, I am now also being watched by grandchildren and I want so much for them to see Truth and Love! I am grateful for grace and that each day is new. Blessings!
Actively pursue God in your daily life in front of your children. Do it with a genuinely humble heart…get on your knees and pray…get out your Bible and read…get out in your community and do some type of outreach…get real and be the example of who you know God wants them to become. But the most important thing is to pray and pray some more; on your own, in front of them, and in community with other parents.
Wow… Thanks for sharing! With 4 daughters (and one son) I need to find more time to deliberately show my children, now I tend to do my quiet time with Jesus when they are not around, because it isn’t quiet when they are around! I read the word of God and I do devotions every single day… but always in my own quiet time while they are away, or in the car while I wait to pick them up of one of their many activities… I don’t take my children with me to ‘do good works’ I’ve always done them alone… Next week when I deliver meals for a new mom or help with serving at our church… I should bring them with me, I tell them we need to serve others before ourselves and I tell them they need to read and study the bible and I tell them they need to pray… BUT they do not see me doing these things… Oooh how I feel like I’m failing them!
I do this too! I do my quiet time, bible studying, and prayer by myself. I do talk about God and we go to church but I am thinking I need to have a family bible study and family prayer time.
But what happens when we want God and seek God, but instead our children choose to turn away from God.? While I think that they do mimic what they see sometimes, this devotion makes it seem like it is pretty easy. Oh I wish that all I had to do was open my Bible daily and seek God and my teenaged girls would too. Wow that would be great. Not reality.
Mindy, God asks us to live for Him and set the example, leaving the outcome to Him. As the mother of a recently returned prodigal daughter I can say with you that it is not easy, but I want to encourage you to not give up. God promises if we train them in His ways, eventually they will “get it” (Proverbs 22:6). It may not be as soon as we would like, but that is God’s promise to us and He always keeps His promises. There were many times that I would watch my daughter choose to turn away from what we had taught her and to continue in sin rather than follow the example I set, but God did not let me give up on Him. He worked in her life, proving Himself to be faithful, and after years of consistent praying, I can see God working in her heart and mine. I urge you to continue praying for your daughters and to continue to set the example for them. God will answer in His time.
Mindy – I’m that mom right with you. Our reality is that our kids have free will…and they also have praying moms. I believe, by faith, not in me doing all the right things but in my Jesus. I trust that one day ALL my children will bow their knees and surrender to Him with all their hearts. Until I see that day, I have to walk in faith and keep my eyes on Jesus and not on what I see around me. Hang in there, friend. I know all too well this road is long and hard. Make sure you surround yourself with friends who keep encouraging you and praying with you for your girls.
One day, all us mamas with the wandering children, are going to have one MASSIVE party! Make it soon, Lord. Make it soon.
One way to show our daughters that we want more of Him, is by saying “no” to the selfie and “yes” to our spirit! Finding our inner beauty, growing in the fruits of the spirit, and really drawing closer to God in all things vs complaining about problems/others on facebook and posting only our highlights on instagram. My daughter and I are currently going through “Magnetic” and this book would be a wonderful followup for us!
Thank you so much, Sarah, for pouring the truth of the power of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives in your girl!
Daughters are interesting and so glad God made them different from sons. Now that I have made many mistakes in the mothering of daughters, God has given me grace yet again with the youngest to walk deeper in the knowledge of His grace. I don’t just “pray” and thank God for our meals but I rejoice that we have a meal. When I pray protection over the house and yard at night before bed, she has been able to see how He answers pray in so many ways. Thankful that I am learning to be more deliberate, oh His grace. Thank you for reminding us about our children – really. Thank you so much.
I was reminded that I am only half way relying on God when it comes to making wise decisions that influence my daughter. I need to talk to my daughter more about my journey of faith so she will know that I do rely on Him even if I don’t say it all the time.
As my daughter turned into a teenager, I found it harder to influence her more than “the world”
of social media, friends and high school. My efforts include staying active in women’s Bible Study,
emphasizing the importance of church and Bible camps, and getting her involved in the worship team.
When the guy relationships became an issue, we read “What Are You Waiting For?” and “The Bride Wore
White” by Dannah Gresh and took her to one of Lynn’s “Girls Rock” conferences. There are life lessons
in these resources that everyone needs to know. I want her to read more, but can only push so much!
Now when she has questions or tough times, she knows that God’s word and the godly wisdom of others
will see her through.
Deb, you are a wise mom to share, but not push. Keep it up, listening to the Holy Spirit for doors that are open.
Your words touched my heart. I could relate so well. I have three beautiful daughters and more than anything I want them to know and love God and follow after Him with a passion. At the same time my own shortcomings and failures in this pursuit of keeping God my focus in daily life are very clear to me. There are so many things that we must do and teach them. I believe one of the most important ways to show them that I want and need God is to let them see me reading my Bible. It’s easy to say, but a whole lot harder to do it. I’ve started having my own Bible reading time in their room quietly in the morning before they awake. Then I wake them and read some of the Bible to them while they stretch and pick out their clothes. I think it is a good way to ease them into the day and I pray that they will begin to love to hear God’s word each morning. Perhaps when they are older, they will choose to pick up their own Bibles in the morning to read.
I love this Mandy! I read to my girl as she eats her breakfast. I started doing this when she was in elementary; this is my last year I’ll get to as she is a senior. She does read on her own and nothing blesses my heart more!
My daughter is a first year college student, and living in a dorm. Last year when we began the ‘college search’ I showed her how we needed to watch and listen for God’s guidance in our search, and allow Him to lead us! She is now one happy girl, surrounded by other God loving girls in her dorm, and walking a faith filled path! This mamma is SO proud of her, and am AMAZED each time I hear more stories of how God is working in her life! Even when us mammas think we might be weak in our examples, God is helping us fulfill our girls, the way they need us to. The older my girl gets, the more I realize this…by God’s grace I have been the mamma my girl needed! Praise Him! <3
I actually got tears in my eyes when I read she called you “Woman of Truth!” Just re-impresses me that our kids watch us carefully. We teach them so much without even being aware of it! We need to be aware 🙂 My daughter, now 23, married, and living across the country is a “mini-me.” She, however, is the new and improved version in many ways. May we always remember to share our faith with our kids in our words and actions. Thank you, Lynn, for sharing Lisa with us today! Love and Prayers!
Beth, you have a “bunch” of eyes watching you in your students. Thank you so much for being an investor, friend!
I think by just being ‘real’ with them and not pretending we have it all together & let them see & hear us admit our mistakes & short-comings. Let them know how much we need God & His guidance & forgiveness & strength everyday.
I hear you, Chasidy. I tell my kids when I am struggling so not only will they know that just because you walk with Jesus each day it doesn’t make life perfect, but to also have them watch me work it out with Him.
By exhibiting a calm and peaceful spirit when around your children, whether sons or daughters, we exhibit the strength of the Lord. Especially in difficulties, we need to have an attitude that praises the Lord. This can be communicated as we let the young ones know that God is in control. Using God’s Word to help soothe an upset child can be affective as well. I call on the Lord’s name during the day to let them know that God’s presence is with them.
I just love this post. I can totally relate on wanting to be the Godly influence of a woman in my daughter (and even my son’s) life! I didn’t get this and I really think it would have had such a great impact on my life or anyone’s life really. I am surely trying to make up for lost time and so glad for you ladies to help fill the gaps in for me these days. thank you
We’re in this together, Amber!
Your words are so true! Our children watch and listen to EVERYTHING. It really hit home when I overheard my 1st born say a phrase containing an inappropriate word in response to a loud noise he heard. My husband and I recognized it as something we ourselves said at times. Talk about being convicted! We had a conversation with our son about his response and told him we were wrong to use words like that. We’ve become very careful about the words that leave our mouths and hold each other accountable. So grateful that our eyes were opened. It was a learning experience for all of us.
When my first born was a toddler, he used to walk around saying, “Oh shoot! Oh shoot!” I knew that came from me. It’s amazing how our kids will bring out the change we need!
My 19 year old daughter is in her first year of nursing school at community college and thanfully still at home. She has never had to really “study” but now, WOW! She does, which has been very stressful for her and me! There are times when she is discouraged and I point her to God…reminding her that He is her Rock, Her Comforter, her Strength…to just call on Him…He already knows her name! He wants her to talk with Him even thought He already knows what she needs….Show/Remind her God cares about every test, every drive to school, every time she works with her patients…..result His Holy Presence and Peace.
Nursing school….so hard. I am glad she has you as a support, Annette!
I think by not holding back on talking out loud about my desires; by allowing them to see me worshiping – in music, reading my Bible, studying with friends… I write them Truths in their lunches. I pray, more than anything, that my desire can make an influence because that may be the only thing I’ve got going for me!
That is EVERYTHING Tristi!
Praying always…for both big and little things.
Be Real… Be all there in the moment with your girls and let them ask questions and let them vent just let them BE who they are created to be is the only way to lead them to the heart of our God.
I agree, Matilda. Today, my girl came home from school very mad. She had a “right” to be. She was really put down for her faith. She said, “Mom, I am telling you because you are the only person I can tell.” Talk away, girl!
By letting them see us love God and love others every day, even on the yucky days.
Yep…even or more so on the yucky days, Amanda!
I think letting the girls know that they are loved, that we have time for them, and to let them know that we are praying for them. I am doing my best to do bible study with them. I want them to know how important God is in my life and to share that passion with them. They see me read His word, study it, and share what the scriptures mean to me.
Beautiful ways, friend!
Oh, I love this reminder. I have three daughters, and I want desperately for them to be totally head over heels in love with Jesus. I think one of the ways we help our girls understand that Jesus is our life, is that we continue to bring all our decisions back to His Word. When my firstborn was about four, we were playing “house” and she packed her baby dolls, some snacks, and her children’s Bible into a big bag and flung it over her shoulder. THen she said, “See you later, I’m going to Bible study….” ‘Cause, I guess she thought that’s just what mommies do! 🙂
I love that picture, Alicia.
I had a thought this morning. I have been reading my Bible and praying in the same chair for so many years I have lost count. This morning I thought, “I’d like to shake it up. Move to another location.” Then I thought, “But Madi sees me here day after day and that is important.” I am certainly not saying that Jesus cares where I pray or that I do things just so my girl sees me, but I do think there is some value in her seeing me spending time with Jesus first thing in the morning.
Always thanking God for everything, even the things we aren’t truly happy with because they have helped us grow. Reading our Bibles together. Praying, praying, praying!
I’m not a mom yet, but I see my mom as someone I want to be in that matronly role. Growing up, I would find my mom awake before the sun was up, praying for me and my sisters and reading her Bible for as long as she could. She served dutifully as a pastor’s wife, and is the wisest person I know. Truthfully, I always thought that she lived a bit of a mundane life, but now my life goal is to be like her. The woman who has integrity will have children who “rise up and call her blessed”. I know I do.
I think that one way to show my daughter how much I want God is just to walk in his word and faith everyday. Start each day with praise and appreciation for his loving us so unconditionally. Basically I need to show her that in any circumstance or situation I am faced with, I do it with love, compassion, kindness and understanding, as that is what the Lord shows us. I can show her how much I want and need God by showing his light and living my life the way he calls me to live it. By showing her God is the beginning and the end.
Amen, Patty! We so cannot do this on our own or with our own strength. But with God – living in us and through us – ALL things are possible, including being good to others!
I believe that you should tell them the truth about your struggles when that time is right. Children are very perceptive and also very smart. I may not do it right all the time but I want her to know that I am working from this point and moving up in spite of. Yes, I have fallen from where I should be but I am not letting go of God and through my struggles I am holding on and will do my best to get back into good graces with Him. When they see you handling life’s difficulties they learn how to handle them too and in spite of my shortfalls I pray that my daughter and son see that I have only done my best and I pray that one day they will become ALL that God expects them to be.
Praying for direction with them – finances, how to spend the weekend, things you struggle with. Also remembering you are the parent first, then a friend.
This is exactly what I was trying to convey today when I posted on your Words of Wisdom article. This is my heart for my girl and I want her to trust me and share with me as her mother all she wants to openly and honestly. I’m still working on patience and being positive. I am waiting for the day she runs to me for her every need as a mother and know she can trust and share with me without fear or reservation instead of running to other women. I am praying and longing for that reality to come true and praying that all obstacles between us will be removed so we can have the mother-daughter relationship Jesus intend us to have. Praying I will do right by her and The Lord by pointing her in his direction, just like my mother taught me Jesus. Please pray for this mother’s broken heart.
I tend to do a lot my praying, quiet time, and bible study alone. I think I can make those changes to include my children with me in that. The most important change I can make though, is to actually live the way I say I believe. I think I do this for the most part with the big exception of communication with my hubsand. I can show more Grace, mercy, and patience in that relationship. I think this will have the biggest impact on my children. I have told them we all need to pray for our family and that, as parents, we pray for them and they should pray for us, their parents.
I am a mother of a 2, 16, 18, and 19 year old and how often I wish I could turn the hands of time back to embrace every opportunity to postiviely influence my older children with God’ great love. All of them have seen me read my Bible and go to church BUT they have also seen me at me worst. This is my prayer for my older children: That they can see the change in me and my life and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that All Things Are Possible Through God Who Gives Me Strength; even during the storms. That they will be the God fearing young women and man that this world needs them to be and embrace the gift of being a CHILD OF GOD (as all three of them have received the gift of salvation). For my youngest child: I pray that I will do everything differently than I did the first go round. When I was pregnant, I didn’t know if I would have the opportunity of taking my little one home since there were complications. I trusted that no matter what God’s plans were, that this child was HIS child. I know all children are His but I literally wanted more than anything for God to use her as a blessing that would be glorifying to Him. He allowed her to be a part of our lives and that is MY CONSTANTreminder to continue in the way of the Lord. I know I will falter, so I hope she learns from me how to “repent” and “ask for forgiveness” and how important it is to devote time to study God’s word. I want to plant that seed for her and watch it grow.
Our girls will notice how we speak about others, especially in what would be a stressful situation to others. They see how other moms are, and take note of the differences, good and bad.