It begins the moment you first lay eyes on her, all cute and cuddly and adorable in that special blanket you picked out for her before she was even born. You’re in love.
Whether it’s the culmination of your own nine months of waiting, or the blessing of adoption, you have been entrusted with the care and nurturing of a sweet little soul. And the gratitude mixed with the responsibility is overwhelming. You know this is not something you can do on your own. Your prayer life increases ten-fold.
She continues to grow in beauty and grace, and you are daily in awe at her innocence, trust and child-faith in all she does, and in the people she knows. Your desire to protect her and cherish her makes you officially, a Mama Bear.
Then it happens, she becomes a “teen”, a “young adult”, a “young woman”. And you’re no longer sure of yourself, and you begin to question every.single.decision. you’ve ever made concerning her upbringing. You start to give in to some fear that she will throw off all you’ve taught her, and become something completely other than you. And, you know what? She does.
And you realize that it was never about any power YOU had, or inspiration YOU provided. If you look to that, you’ll be disappointed. Those are the very things she’ll challenge in those “hard years” (and let’s be honest…they’re hard whether she’s a good girl or a challenge).
What she won’t challenge, and what she will hold on to are all the ways in which you were a witness. In the end, that’s all that will matter. All you can do is point her to Jesus. Over and over and over. She has to see that no matter where she lands, she can look for the signs that point her to Jesus, because you’ve clearly laid those out for her throughout the years.
As moms, we do not have the power to make a heart change in our daughters, but each day we are given the opportunity to point them back to Jesus.
Here are nine ways you can point your teen daughter to Jesus:
Let her see you really loving people, especially those who are unlovable. The ones that don’t look like others in her social group. The ones who are less fortunate than her.
Let her see you being joyful in all things and in all circumstances. She’ll learn that joy is an inside joy, provided by the Spirit, and not the product of another person or relationship.
Let her see you trusting in God’s promises, even when times are hard, not fretting over things that are in His hands.
Let her see you pray over the lost, turn the other cheek when possible, and give it your all for the sake of Christ.
Let her see true kindness towards others that isn’t premeditated. Just be nice in front of and behind someone else’s back.
Let her see real goodness. The kind that can’t be faked. Let the Lord show you ways to show her His goodness to all, regardless of their past.
Let her see you read your Bible, and practice what it says. Be a doer of the Word, and not a hearer only.
Let her see you be a lady. This doesn’t mean you have to wear pearls and heels, but all women have a gentleness about them and puppies, bunnies, babies, and people who suffer know this. Find ways to show her that about herself, by finding ways to use your own.
Let her see you take all things in moderation. Choose her over online time, unnecessary commitments. Guard your temper. Be mindful to take care of your body, a temple of the Holy Spirit.
All of this can only come from the Fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Let her see that there is no law against such things. And keep pointing her to Jesus.
Disclaimer: You might notice I am a teen boy mom, not a mom to daughters. So why am I writing about daughters? It’s simple really. I am a daughter, and though I am not legally parenting a daughter, I am “Auntie Marcy” to many young girls and teens. So remember sweet moms, even if you are a mom of boys, it’s likely your influence reaches past your own parental responsibility and pours itself over the life of many, including a few teen “daughters of the heart.” The Fruit of the Spirit applies in those situations, too. You are being watched. Be sure you’re pointing them all back to Jesus with a life well-lived to honor Him.