How to Raise a Daughter: 15 Small Steps for Dad’s that Make Difference in the Lives of Their Daughters

 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.  (2)  It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.  (3)  Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.  (4)  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  (5)  Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. – Psalm 127


Children are like arrows, they have to be aimed and let go. Below are a few practices that I have set out to keep up with my daughter that take very little time, but will shape her whole life and prepare her for the future.  I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am intentional.  I hope this list provokes your thoughts on the simple things we do as parents and how they can make a world of difference for your children.

1. Tell her you love her every day of your life (say it multiple times and in multiple ways each day)

2. Teach her that character, not make-up brings out her true beauty.

3. Tell her everything special that you like about her mom on a regular basis (especially in regards to her character)

4. Teach her to give her best effort on every project

5. Tell her you are proud of her (and highlight the things you are proud of, especially when you know she gave her best effort).

6. Give her a hug everyday (even in the teenage years when things get a little awkward and you realize that she’s closer to being a woman than a little girl).

7. Tell her that she is beautiful (just like her mom… give her a womanly role model worthy of emulation and affirm her mother in front of her often).

8. Teach her to be thankful for everything (Thank God for simple pleasures like apples and other fruit that God gave us for our pleasure).

9. Give her responsibility and hold her accountable (nothing says love like trust, expectation, and a little help along the way).

10. Hit Pause on the Disney shows and talk about real life issues (though “family friendly,” most kids shows are centered on someone telling a lie, a weak or non-existent father character, and kids running the show… you are your daughters filter, but you won’t always be… help her discern truth for error even in her entertainment options).

11. Pray for her everyday of your life.

12. Pray with her every day. (and let her hear you pray for her)

13. Teach her to pray.

14. Read the Bible together every day. (Starting with a reliable Story Bible and working into a good translation. Start reading to her and then work into her reading to you, especially if she is younger.)

15. Memorize scripture and Spiritual questions and answers together often (at lease weekly).


What Is My Body Language Saying When I Pray?

So this thought has been on my mind for a while now.  When I got my undergraduate degree I minored in communication.  One of the first things they teach you in communication class is that verbal communication (speaking) is only a small portion of communication.  Non-verbal communication also plays a key role in how people understand your message. You and I get this.  If I never make eye-contact with you while talking to you in a private conversation, you will think somethings up.  If you say yes and shake your head no, I’ll be confused.  If you frown at me and tell me that I did an outstanding job, I might think you’re mad about it.  We get non-verbal communication.

We judge people on how they present themselves. We evaluate the kind of handshakes we receive when meeting a client or sales person for the first time.  We imagine that students who wear nice cloths are more respectful to the teacher than those who show up to class with their hair disheveled wearing a t-shirt.

Our body language says a lot.  So why is it that when it comes to communication with God, we would want to leave that out?  I know God knows our heart and doesn’t need us to get on our knees to signal that we are ready to talk with and listen to Him.  Forget for a moment how the message is received.  I’m confident that God knows our own hearts better than we do.  I’m more concerned about what we are actually saying when we don’t assume a posture that expresses what our heart is saying. Can you really call out to God face down on your pillow a few minutes before you drift to sleep?  Why not kneel or lay on your face on the cold hard ground.  One of the things I noticed reading through the Bible is the physical response of people to God.  It’s not as though God doesn’t understand the heart, but I’m not sure our heart is really saying what we want it to if we can’t make our bodies say it as well.

I’m sure these aren’t new thoughts.  I’m learning more and more about a false dichotomy that exists in me and many others between the mind and body.  I’m thankful for what I have learned about Bonhoeffer and others when it comes to “making our bodies say what our heart is saying.”

How about you? What are your thoughts on the body language of prayer?
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