Being a Good Steward of Your Heart and Mind

by Shelley Noonan

As your daughter explores this new stage of development, she will be having many new thoughts and feelings. Do you remember what it was like being in her position? 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 unexplainably happy. God designed each of us to walk in a kind of awakening at this age. It is, as Beautiful Girlhood says, like a rose bud bursting open. I can think of no better word to describe the force of transformation that happens 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.

We must constantly guard ourselves from thoughts that are impure or feelings that are inappropriate. 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.

Encourage your daughter to share her thoughts with you. 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 open-ness 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.

Also, one of the most important things you can do is encourage her to think about scripture. 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!

Megan Briggs Megan is the Product Manager for the ministry Generations of Virtue. When not ordering books for GOV’s warehouse, proofreading a file to go to print, or joining the team at a conference, Megan dabbles in writing. She lives in Colorado Springs, CO and never tires of looking at the mountains.
About Generations of VirtueThe mission of Generations of Virtue is to equip parents, churches, schools and organizations to empower the next generation to be pure in our world today. Started in 2003 by Julie Hiramine, GOV exists to help this next generation turn the tide of our culture back to Christ. For upcoming events, practical resources, and to join the movement of raising up a holy generation, visit www.generationsofvirtue.org

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb S. September 15, 2011 at 7:18 am

My mom and I never talked about what I was thinking or feeling or going through. I want a more open relationship with my daughter. I am excited that starting this study now will develop those habits of communication that we sometimes neglect in the everyday busy-ness of homeschooling, chores, giving instructions, etc. Also, though we went to church (practically every time the door was open), my spiritual training was left to youth workers/ministers and Sunday School teachers. We never talked about what it meant to be a follower of Christ or the importance of memorizing Scripture or had family devotions or even prayed together. This is completely different in my household now. Homeschooling has been a wonderful tool for equipping and enabling us to do that. I pray that we have and will continue to equip and train and empower our daughter (and our boys) to guard her heart and mind and take every thought captive. May God lead, shelter and defend her so that her “prospects and goals for womanhood” reach full bloom for HIS glory.

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wpadmin September 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

Barb I have only one thing to add to this comment. “Amen!”

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Rebecca September 15, 2011 at 5:11 am

What a blessing this post and this amazing community has become in my life, already this week. It is so easy to go through life without understanding the power of not just being a parent, but being a Mentor….creating that relationship that goes beyond being a Mom and much more than just being a friend, but truly being what God designed us to be for our children. I may not be able to complete all of the tasks every week, but I already sense my daughter and I growing closer!!!

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wpadmin September 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

I agree Rebecca! This is an amazing community of moms and daughters who have a desire to grow closer to the Lord and each other. Just want to encourage you in this way. A wise man (my 27yo son) once said to me…”keep the main thing the main thing” What he meant by that and what I want you to take away is that the “main thing” of this study is that you spend time with your daughter each week purposefully mentoring her and guiding her. B&B should not be a burden, but a vehicle for you and your daughter to use to become closer! The crafts, recipes, etc. are bells and whistles…the main thing is your time with your sweet girl in the Word of God. Make sense? I wish I could give you a hug to encourage you Rebecca! Keep it up!

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