Monday, October 8, 2012

Fighting for Your Girl's Worth: Part I

Note: This is part of the Fight Like a Girl Series. Other posts are found under the series tag.

Picking up my girl's assignment, I immediately notice the white-out lines and scratch throughs. I can't help but smile. It's messy, true. It's also a beautiful sight to my eyes. Only a few years ago, that paper would've been crumpled up and thrown away at the first mistake. Memories of those battles haven't quite faded. I know full well the origin of this trait.

I don't recall when it started, this grappling with finding my worth in my accomplishments. I was so afraid of letting anyone down that I worked myself into a frenzy. The good behavior, the good grades, the good school. I desperately wanted to be the good girl. The need still clings tightly, its spindly fingers not daring to loosen their grasp.

When I began to see that in my daughter, I was mortified.

When I began to see it in my parenting, I was terrified.

It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that these are God's children. They do not belong to us. They are given not to bring us glory, but him...Our identiy is rooted in him and his call to us, not in our children and their performance.

Mothers who were competitive as girls may approach parenting bent on producing perfect children. We view their accomplishments through the veil of our own failures. We cannot convince our daughters that their value isn't measured by their grades, their looks, or their successes until we understand and believe this truth for ourselves. It is not until we embrace grace that we give our daughters the freedom to throw the measuring stick away.

How do we get there? First, we show our girls the truth of Scripture regarding our standing before God. We have all fallen short (Romans 3:23). Not one of us is righteous (Romans 3:10).

Your wickedness makes you as...heavy as lead...and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink...and all your righteousness would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell than a spider's web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not that so is the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment.
~Jonathan Edwards
quoted by Hannah Farver, Uncompromising: A Heart Claimed By a Radical Love (p. 47)

Once we comprehend our true standing before God, we can marvel at the Gospel. The Gospel that tells us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). The Gospel that tells us our salvation and our worth don't depend on anything we do, but on everything God has done.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
~Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)

Keep Fighting:
~Our value is determined by how God sees us. Read & discuss: Ephesians 1:4, Psalm 139:14, 1 John 4:9, and Romans 8:38-39.
~Explain the heresy of believing that we can earn God's love. Read & discuss: Ephesians 2:9, Romans 11:6
~Remind your girl that her accomplishments are a means to bring glory to God. Read & discuss: 1 Corinthians 10:31, James 2:12-18

For Further Reading:
~Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
~Lies Young Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh


  1. I just love this series you are doing, Melissa. I can relate so much to what you're saying, especially your words about mothers who were competitive as girls.

  2. "It is not until we embrace grace that we give our daughters the freedom to throw the measuring stick away."

    Well said, Melissa!

  3. Great series, Melissa. I like the admonition to fight for our girls! It helps to see where we may be fighting in the wrong ways.

  4. You are such a blessing Melissa. Thank you so much for your honesty in writing this series. Though written for momma's, I think all Christian workers (and not just those working with young girls/women) can take away some important biblical principles. I especially love the Paul Tripp quote, "They are given not to bring us glory, but him..." Amen. Keep up the good work, friend!