Chapter 11 Ideals

by Shelley Noonan

Hey there,

The weeks seem to be flying by don’t they? Each week, we have the opportunity to learn more about our girls and shape their lives for the Lord. The previous two weeks we went over the twin character sisters called Honesty and Sincerity.  Now, ladies, I want to focus your gaze to the next four weeks of study as you read Beautiful Girlhood with your daughter and do the exercises  especially designed for her  in The Companion Guide to Beautiful Girlhood.   Set your eyes upon four instrumental components in your daughter’s development called Ideals, Ambitions, The Power of Purpose, and Dreams.

Mable Hale (author of Beautiful Girlhood) said, “An ideal is a mental conception of perfection. It is a picture in the mind of things as we should like to have them. Every girl has her ideals in one way or another and is working toward them. She may be careless and hardly conscious of what she is doing, yet certainly she is following after her ideal. She has in her mind the picture of the woman she wants to be. No girl can rise higher than her ideal.”

To illustrate the importance of choosing ideals wisely here is a story I heard.  I am told the Canadian North lands experience only two seasons, winter and July. As the back roads begin to thaw, they become muddy and vehicles traveling through the back country leave deep ruts. The ground freezes hard during the winter months, and the highway ruts become a part of the traveling challenges. For vehicles entering this rugged and underdeveloped area during the winter, there is a sign which reads,

“Drivers please choose carefully which rut you drive in, because you will be in it for the next 20 miles.”

Mothers, I urge you to note, examine, and discuss ideals you see your daughter acquiring. Once she chooses them, they will influence her decision making for a very long time.

Striving to stay out of the ruts,


  • This week, be watching what your daughter talks about, the women she admires, the people she tries to emulate. Prayerfully consider her choices and speak with her if you have any concerns.
  • Pray, pray, and pray some more. This fine tuned ideal molding can only be done by our Father. He knows exactly who He has designed her to be, what He wants her to accomplish, and how he wants to accomplish this task.



I know you will bring my daughter onto the path You want her to go. I praise You that will lead her in a God honoring path that she hasn’t even dreamed of! You promise to make the darkness and confusion she feels bright and all the areas in her life that are crooked straight. Praise You that You will never forsake her. Have your way with her life.



Memory Verse:

Isaiah 42:16 KJV

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”


Post and Ponder:

  • When you were a girl this age what was your concept of the ideal woman or ideal life? How did this influence the decisions you made. For good? For not so good?
  • What are some ways you can hold up and offer godly ideals to your daughter without saying a word? Right now, I can only think of two. How about you? Share them with us.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan November 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I don’t remember having a concept of the ideal woman or ideal life when I was a girl. I never dreamed I’d be where I am today, so am especially thankful for God’s grace to cover my lack of ideals. I do see in families where there are godly ideals taught that the children “live up to” what is expected of them. This reminds me of a line from a country song I once knew, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” I’m glad we had an opportunity today to discuss those ideals we desire in our lives. I was struck by this from p. 76: “It is not enough to have good ideals alone. There must be a careful and persistent effort to live up to them. To reach these ideals often costs the sacrifice of other things that seem pleasant.” It’s not enough to know the right thing, we have to do it, and that is the challenging part! Shelley, both the quotes you chose for the Companion Guide are great, and the Chesterton one, so well-worded, accurately states the challenge.

I can think of two ways we can hold up godly ideals without saying a word but they may not be your two! The first is by our example. The second is the material that we give our children to listen to, read, and watch.



Shelley December 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

Jan, you always give me something to chew on! I agree…having an ideal and acting upon the ideal is so different! You are right, careful consistant effort must be expended in to reach the desired God-honoring, God-glorifying end. Rejoicing that you and your daughter(s) had an opportunity to discuss this topic!



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