Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Byron and Robin Yawn’s new book What Every Woman Wishes Her Father Had Told Her (Harvest House Publishers, 2013).
As a father, you play a vital role in helping your daughter develop the confidence God wants her to have to do well in life. Too many dads neglect to fully invest in their daughter’s lives, leaving them unprepared to grow into the strong women God wants them to become. But if you choose to communicate regularly with your daughter and pass along wisdom from our Heavenly Father to her, you can see her confidence grow. Here’s how:
Ask God to help you be a faithful role model for your daughter. Pray daily for the Holy Spirit to help you live out your faith well and exemplify the lessons you’re hoping to teach her. Rather than trying to be perfect (which is an unrealistic goal), simply do your best each day. Let your daughter see you trust God and rely on his strength to help you in every situation. Most of all, ask God to make you a conduit for his love to flow through into your daughter’s life. The more real love that your daughter receives from you as her father, the more she’ll be drawn to find that same type of love in the future – which will motivate her to seek God and pursue healthy relationships with other people.
Affirm her desire to be cherished by a man. Your daughter may be teased for expressing her desire to get married one day to a man who will treasure her. Assure her that she’s not crazy or weak for desiring a man’s love and protection, but that desire comes from God as part of his design for how femininity and masculinity should work together.
Encourage her not to settle for less than the best in a spouse. Bust the popular myth of a romantic “soul mate” by telling your daughter that, in reality, there is not any specific man that she must find somewhere in the world in order to be happy. Teach her to look instead for a man who truly loves and serves God and will do his best to love and serve her – and never to settle for an unbelieving or unloving man. Explain that a man who shows real faith and love will be willing to unconditionally make sacrifices to help her – just like Jesus did when he made the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross.
Teach her that there is no such thing as casual sex. Counter our culture’s messages about enjoying casual sex with the truth that sex is much more than just physical gratification without consequences. Describe the many ways that sex affects people spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically, as well as how hard it is to repair the damage caused by sex outside of marriage. Explain to your daughter that fulfilling sex doesn’t result from self-indulgent sexual behavior, but instead results from sacrificial relationships that are built on God’s principle of unconditional love. Encourage your daughter to pursue sexual purity.
Help your daughter see that submission is a sign of strength rather than weakness. People may tell your daughter that the biblical concept of submission is crazy nonsense, because choosing to be submissive will make her weak. Let your daughter know that submission to God (and within marriage, as spouses work together to do God’s will) is actually a sign of strength, because it releases God’s power into situations in which people are submissive. Point out that Jesus himself chose to be submissive (giving up his personal rights and power in order to save the world).
Encourage her to set the right goal for her future marriage. Counter the culture’s message that the goal of marriage should be happiness with the truth that happiness in marriage occurs only when spouses work toward the right goal: aiming to bring God glory through their relationship. Make it clear to your daughter that spouses can’t change each other – only God can – so she should pursue a marriage based on grace, where she and her husband choose to love each other despite their shortcomings. Explain the importance of respecting her future husband even though sometimes he won’t deserve it, as a way of showing respect for God and appreciation for the grace he gives us all.
Tell your daughter that goodness comes from a transformed heart, not a to-do list. Help your daughter break free from the world’s pressure to evaluate herself on the basis of her performance in fulfilling her duties. Emphasize that it isn’t outward behavior (such as cleaning house well or following religious rituals) that makes her acceptable to other people or holy to God; it’s the inward changes that come from following where Jesus leads her day by day.
Let your daughter know that she is beautiful just the way God made her. Help your daughter overcome body image problems caused by comparing herself to the unrealistic standards of beauty for women in our culture. Affirm her God-given beauty. Teach her to derive her sense of self-worth from God’s constant love for her instead of from the fleeting affections of another person.
Urge her to trust Jesus when she can’t change challenging situations. Your daughter is bound to be disappointed and frustrated if she buys into the popular but mistaken notion that she can do anything that she sets her mind to if she simply believes. Tell her the truth that, in this fallen world, she won’t be able to do everything that she wants to do and she will sometimes find herself dealing with circumstances she can’t change. But urge her to place her trust in Jesus whenever she’s dealing with challenges, since she can always count on his help.
Byron Yawn is the senior pastor of Community Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee and a sought-after speaker. His book Well-Driven Nails received much positive acclaim from prominent ministers, including John MacArthur and Steven Lawson. Byron has MDiv. and DMin. degrees from The Master's Seminary, is married to Robin, and has three children.
Robin Yawn has been a pastor's wife for more than 20 years. As a daughter herself and the mother of a teenage girl, she understands the wisdom daughters need. Her life's calling is helping young ladies understand the freedom found in the gospel and how the love of God has the power to heal the most fractured soul.
Whitney Hopler, who has served as a Crosswalk.com contributing writer for many years, is author of the Christian novel Dream Factory, which is set during Hollywood's golden age. Visit her website at: whitneyhopler.naiwe.com.
Publication date: January 7, 2014