I often hear of how moms struggle to have great relationships with their preteen and teen daughters. Sometimes it’s just the normal stage that many teen girls go through—separating themselves from their mothers to find their own identities. Other times, though, our relationships with our kids are directly impacted by our past family history and how we related to our own moms. Negative experiences with parental relationships can have positive or negative effects when a person has their own children.
I was extremely fortunate to have a great relationship with my mom – we could always talk and communicate, and even now, I consider my mom to be one of my best friends. We do not always agree, but it is a genuine relationship that I cherish.
One of the things I have always appreciated about my relationship with my mom as she raised me as a daughter of the King was our deep discussions about the Bible. My mom was a Sunday school teacher and later became an ordained minister. She was an avid reader and always gave such great insight when explaining God’s Word to us.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
I can still remember receiving my first Bible and devotional from her. To be honest, I didn’t often read it, or at least not often enough. But, I could listen to her go on and on in her explanations of the Bible. Devotions weren’t as user-friendly then as they are now, but her explanations always made up for that.
While raising my own preteen daughter, I desire to share my love of the Bible with her as my mom did with me. Fortunately, there are so many great Bibles out there now for teens and preteens with engaging graphics and relevant information! My daughter loves to read and was very excited when I gave her recently the new Young Women of Faith Bible, NIV.
This Bible is filled with devotions and weekly studies, as well as many side notes that are linked to the companion women’s study Bible, the NIV Women of Faith Study Bible, allowing mother and daughter to share God’s Word together. The weekly Bible studies apply biblical truths to life and there are even journaling pages for daughters to record their own ‘I Believe’ statements of faith.
I like that this Bible is easy to read and understand. And it’s also loaded with extras like the ‘Memory Challenges’ section of Bible verses worth remembering and ‘If I Were There . . .’ sections that prompt readers to put themselves in the Bible stories and think about what they would have done if they were in that person’s same situation in history. My daughter thought that was pretty cool.
While I don’t have a copy of the companion NIV Women of Faith Study Bible for myself, I’m looking forward to picking up a copy later this year so my daughter and I can go through some of the reading plans together. (Mother’s Day, anyone? Hint, hint.)
Do you read the Bible with your daughters? It’s easy when they get to the preteen and teen years to leave Bible reading to something they do on their own, in Sunday school, or in their classes if they’re in Christian schools, but I still think that Bible reading together is one of the most important things you can do as a family.
In the busyness of life, you may think you’re in tune with your preteen or teen daughter, but are you really? Reading the Bible together opens up so many opportunities to see her perspective on Biblical values, and learn a bit about what’s going on in her life in the process.
Here are some of the faith practices I try to remember while raising a Daughter of the King:
- Read the Bible together. My daughter is old enough to read but she still enjoys when I read the Bible with and to her. It gives me the opportunity to answer any questions she may have right away and possibly minister to her in any areas where she may be struggling.
- Pray for her and with her. Never underestimate the power of prayer with your children. I always saw my mom praying. This encouraged me to develop my own prayer life. Children follow your lead and will remember your daily rituals into their adulthood.
- Make it fun. We can make being a Christian so mundane and unappealing! We can help by showing that being a daughter of the King is a source of joy. We laugh about some of the things we read in the Bible because it is easier for her to relate to the funny, awkward and strange things in the Bible at times. For instance, my kids all love the story of Jonah. I like to remind them to be obedient so they don’t get swallowed by a whale. My kids think that comment is hilarious!
- Practice application. Look for opportunities to help your daughters apply what they has learned during her devotion time. There is nothing like seeing the faith in action. Faith cannot grow unless it is tested.
This world is waiting to offer our daughters a lot of things, but only the word of God can offer them the security, safety, and confidence they need to grow into mature, faith-filled women of God. It is important to me that my daughter understands that the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God to be applied in our everyday lives. I want her to know that by growing her faith she will one day be able to survive the valleys, soar in the sky, and move any mountain.
What do you do to raise faith-filled daughters of the King? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments – please share!