3 Ways to Help Your Daughter to Guard Her Heart and Mind

by Shelley



Mother and Daughter at the Beach

Your daughter is at the brink of womanhood- and she probably has the mood swings to prove it! As your daughter explores this new stage of development, she will be having many new thoughts, emotions and feelings.
Do you remember what it was like at her age?
You might remember thinking new thoughts you had previously never even thought about. It’s an exciting time, when your mind seems to be opening new passages and your heart experiencing new feelings everyday. I remember spending hours at a time sitting on my bed, staring at the ceiling and just thinking. It seemed as if I thought about everything under the sun – from questions like why did God allow people to starve to death to what does it feel like to be in love. Maybe you remember watching a movie or hearing a story that you had heard or seen before, yet this time it made you feel sad or inexplicably happy. God designed each of us to walk in a kind of awakening at this age. It is, as the Beautiful Girlhood author says, like a rose bud bursting open. I can think of no better word to describe the sheer force of transformation that occurs in a young woman’s heart and mind at this age than “bursting”.

The author also gives us a warning about this bursting, though: she says to be careful because “the girl with the brightest prospects and hopes of womanhood may fail to reach her goal if she is touched with the blight of sin.” And this is where we must encourage our girls to dream and think new thoughts and experience new feelings within God’s protective boundaries. Everything starts with our thoughts – including sin.
This is where you come in, Mom! Your job is to be a protector and advisor when all these thoughts and feelings come tumbling over your daughter. You must teach her how to be a good steward of her heart and mind. The heart and mind can be a very powerful tool in God’s hands, but they must be sharpened and trained. Here are three things to remember as you train her to guard her heart and mind…
  1.  Guard. One thing I remember distinctly from thinking on my bed was how powerless I was to make wrong thoughts stop in my mind. I did not know that I was to be the steward of my thoughts – that it was my responsibility to direct the flow of the thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. In a way, it was as if the thoughts had power over me, and I did not know I could choose which thoughts to entertain and which to redirect or stop completely. In truth, it would have greatly helped me to have a mentor who could help me talk through my thoughts and direct me toward thinking that was in line with the thoughts of God. It would have also greatly helped to have scripture I could meditate on and ponder as I felt the need to really think deeply about something. We need to train our daughters to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5.
  2.  Share. This doesn’t have to be a forced confession you pressure her into. Instead, ask her leading questions that require thought in order to respond. If you see a movie together, ask her specific questions about the plot or the characters and how it made her feel. Ask her if she would have done something differently if she had been in so-and-so’s shoes. Everyone once and while, ask her what she’s thinking about. Encourage her to write her thoughts down in a journal – and promise not to look at it unless she invites you to. When you discuss her thoughts and feelings, create an atmosphere of openness and safety for her by sharing your own stories when it’s appropriate and won’t disrupt her sharing, and by not being judgmental, overly surprised, or condescending in your reactions to her words.
  3. Think. Start with the verses you will be studying for this chapter in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood:
Proverbs 15:13, 15:15, and 15:30.
Other good ideas:
Isaiah 26:3
Psalm 37:4
1 Timothy 6:11
Blessings to you and your daughter as you start out on this journey together!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sally { with eager hands } August 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I have had Beautiful Girlhood and your companion guide for some time, waiting for the right time to do ti with my 12 year old (my oldest). We are beginning it this week, in conjunction with Passport 2 Purity (we are modifying it – her younger brother and sisters are out of town, except for the 9 month old, and we are doing things around the house and locally — having all this almost-one-on-one time is great!) She just made a jounral for our times together, and also for something else we will do in the future (Blessings GOd’s Way, the Maidens by His Design course — check it out!!). Thank you for waht you do — I just “re-found” you when your llink to this post went on FB!

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Shelley August 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I am so glad you “re-found” us Sally! May your family be blessed by this study.
Blessings,
Shelley

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