Thursday, February 17, 2011

Educating the Teacher

I have yet to find a more reliable tool for teaching my daughters then modeling the behavior and thought patterns I think are wise.  I wish “Do as I say, not as I do,” worked as well, but I imagine this is God’s way of making sure there is a beneficial change not only in my daughters but in me as well.  (Yes, I did sigh at the end of that sentence.It isn’t fun to look at your own short-comings.  If I hadn’t recently been advised NOT to include music on my blog I totally would have added “Man in the Mirror” to this post.  
            I thought it would be a great idea to share the books that have changed us and made us better women, wives, moms, and daughters of God.  So in no particular order this is my list of must-reads.

  • Captivating by Staci and Todd Eldridge:  This book validated so many of my more feminine traits that I knew were there for a reason, and gave me the reason God gave them to me.  What better way to know and serve God than to use the very tools he created me with?
  • Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris:  My oldest and I are reading this book together (actually, she just finished and I am lagging behind a couple chapters).  This book was written by teens for teens; to tell them there is no such thing as teens…and it is awesome.  Do not settle for low expectations in “teens”, and don’t let your “teen” settle for them either.  A very practical and inspiring read for both my daughter and me.
  • The Divine Dance by Shannon Kubiak:  She gets me.  This is my other choice for understanding how and why women tick and why God made us that way.  How can I possibly model to my daughters what it means to be a healthy semi-well-adjusted woman until I can get there myself?  I read this book every 3-5 years and it gets better every time.
  • The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn: A book that makes the study of Logic reasonable even for someone who has never studied it.  The subtitle says it all, “Thirty-Eight Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning.”  I need those lessons and so do my daughters if we are to be in this world but not of it.
  • The Bible by God:  This should be an easy explanation; after all, this post is about Godly wisdom.  However, if you haven’t read the Bible much yet it can be hard to pick it up and start seeing the application of thousand year old wisdom.  The Bible isn’t an easy read.  God didn’t dictate His book to the prophets in picture book format.  What can help make it more easily digested?  Prayer will certainly help!  Finding a good church with lots of people to love on you and mentor you would be great too. 
I went into the blog’s settings and made some changes.  Anyone can leave a comment now so you don’t have to be a registered user.  What books have changed you for the better?  I only have four books I am currently trying to work my way through.  I need a few more suggestions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wooing Wisdom

In the wake of Valentine’s Day I thought it might be appropriate to discuss how romance plays into our daughter’s wisdom.  Romance makes women feel valued.  It’s as simple as that.  When women feel valued, we feel safe. Our daughter wants to be romanced.  Don’t you?  As children or as adults we might have had some negative experiences that jaded us or made us distrustful of being sought after by men.  But in the core of our being, God made us to long for a relationship where we feel loved.  This fulfillment begins at home in our relationships with our daughter and then goes on to include her friendships with those outside of her immediate family.   Eventually, our daughter will include more intimate relationships with boys as part of that fulfillment.
Please step outside of the pop culture sexualized notion of romance and look at the heart of your daughter’s need.  Your daughter needs to have someone believe in her unique value so strongly that they would pursue her time and attention.  An eventual interest in boys is merely your daughter’s natural progression of her search for value and security.  But as parents, we can either create a pattern to seek out our daughter, or we put our daughter into the pattern of having to seek after us.  There is a balance that needs to be struck there; I am sure none of us want to raise a spoiled brat that thinks everyone should be pursuing her while she just laps it up.  But we will set our daughter up for an equally unhealthy relationship if she is always seeking our approval, time, and understanding.  
When parents model a healthy relationship (a balance of pursuing her heart without spoiling her) we are subtly offering her wisdom.  She will learn from this experience without even being aware there was a lesson.  She becomes wise when she can see the difference between the healthy image she has been brought up in and the unhealthy Hollywood image portrayed in movies, books, and music.  She is wise if she sees the benefits of the relationship modeled by her parents contrasted by the negatives of quick enmeshment offered in co-dependent relationships (a staple in “teen” romance).  How we romance our daughter now will influence her future relationships with God, friends, boys, and even us. 
Are you pursuing your daughter’s heart?  What would your daughter say if someone asked her that question?  Does she feel pursued?  It might take some time and effort just to figure out your daughter’s love language, but it will be worth it.  Once you figure out how to reach her heart it will be easier to naturally take opportunities as they come up.  Once your daughter has had a taste of the real thing it will be easier for her to discern when someone in her life seems good, but truly isn’t good. 

My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them.    Proverbs 1:10

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.           Proverbs 13:14

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.     Proverbs 13:20