One hundred sixty-one weeks ago, my firstborn, my son, turned twenty-one. At the time, a full three years and 30 days ago, I wrote a blog urging his responsible alcohol use. Earlier this week a similar thing happened again: my daughter, my only daughter, turned twenty-one. This time, however, her alcohol consumption was not my primary concern. I am worried and afraid of so much more. Perhaps these fears are attributable to their differing temperaments or their differing experiences. Whatever the reason, I am more concerned, more melancholic, about Rebekah becoming a full-fledged adult than I did about Jonathan.
As I write this, I am left wondering why. It is not as if I have ever ascribed to a double-standard; I would never say apologetically that ‘boys will be boys’, nor that ‘a woman’s place is in the home’. Yet, in light of all that is swirling around in the world (not the least of which is the #metoo movement), I am worried about the world we have created and the environment we have fostered for the women we love. I want my adult daughter – no, all our adult daughters – to be valued for her character and nothing else.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16
My hope for my adult daughter, who, with every passing birthday, moves further away from the little girl I remember, is that she will shine like a star in this warped generation. I pray that she will be light in the darkness. As she steps ever closer into the spheres of grown-upness, I trust that she will not let anyone but God alone define her, let no one on earth demean her and allow no man to destroy her by refusing to take no for an answer.
You have been made in the very image of God. You are His workmanship, created to accomplish the work He wants you to do. You are, therefore, perfectly quirky, perfectly suited to do what you do. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are a liar.
You are a child of God. You have a royal inheritance. You are somebody. Again, if anyone tells you otherwise, they are a liar.
You are precious in His sight. You, just being you, have an inestimable value to God. You need not do anything to prove you are worthy of love or to prove you are capable of loving. And again, if anyone tells you otherwise…you know…liar.
I wish the world were a different place, but then again, I wish I had the riches to buy you a pony when you were eight. The world is full of broken hurting people, some of whom are happiest making more broken hurting people: do not become one of them. Run from those who seek you harm. Refuse to entertain ungodly advances. Remember that you are here to shine. Remain as wonderful as we all know you are.