By monthly contributor, Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry
Right now is a very exciting time in the life of our girls. Our oldest daughter, Christi (a recent college grad), is now engaged to an awesome third-generation missionary from Niger, West Africa; our brand-new daughter-in-law, Anna, is working with our son to pioneer a new mission including an orphanage and Bible school in S.E. India; and our youngest daughter, Caela, is thrilled to be chosen as Christi’s maid-of-honor. It’s also a great time in ministry. My daughters and I are launching a brand-new vision, called DARING DAUGHTERS to inspire teen girls for missions and fulfilling God’s purposes. Our heart is for teens and ‘tweens (girls, ages 10 to 20), along with moms and mentors.
It’s a time of joy in our family . . . yet even in the midst of dreaming about fun girly-stuff like wedding colors and bridesmaid dresses, our heart remains focused on the needs of this world.
Recently, I found a weird verse that I shared with my girls. It’s from Jeremiah 9, and in context, the prophet was talking about how horrible it was that Israel had fallen from God’s ways. The nation was dealing with wickedness, deceit, idolatry, and all kinds of evil.
In verses 17-18, the Bible says,
Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for skillful wailing women, that they may come. Let them make hast and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run with tears, and our eyelids gush with water . . .”
Isn’t that kind of strange? God was calling for the professional criers and the wailing women. There was a need for tears, but a total lack of mourning and grief. Then in verse 20, Jeremiah 9 says,
“Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women, And let your ear receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing . . .”
Wow. This verse really stopped me.
I’m a mom with daughters, and I’m always on the lookout for what God tells me to teach my girls. So here, God is saying to teach my girls to cry . . . to shed tears . . . and even to wail. God is talking about big stuff, like rebellion against God, and not caring about sin.
As moms, how often do we allow thoughts about the injustices of this world to penetrate into our hearts, to the place where we would care enough to cry? Or care enough to motivate our girlfriends and our daughters? All across the globe, and in our own nation, and right down the street, and (sadly) even blaring into family rooms through televisions and movies, there’s horrible stuff going on.
It’s stuff God calls SIN and INJUSTICE.
Even while living in God’s joy and peace, there should be seasons when the needs of this world should make us so sad, and so shocked, and so ashamed (especially as mothers who deeply care for the next generation). At times, we should be compelled to our knees, where we should cry, and even weep. Yet as women and as moms, most of us are just too calloused . . . or too busy . . . or too tired.
Moms, we need to quit striving, and to quit caring so much about what others think . . . about us, and about our homemaking skills, and our motherhood successes (or failures).
Instead, we need to care more about what God thinks. He loves us so much, and He loves our daughters, even more than we do. For both moms and daughters, our calling is to simply walk with Him and to abide in Him, and to follow His leading, day-by-day. As we each draw closer to Him, He will show us His daily divine balance, to keep our family (and for our daughter’s future family) in His order, as He will also show us how to help others.
Needs that should concern a godly girl . . .
As Christian women (of all ages), we need to allow ourselves to see the big needs of this world, especially those that concern women, and girls, and children . . . like teenage pregnancy, abortion, pornography, the plight of orphan children, child slavery, human trafficking (especially of young girls), hurting and broken hearts, neglected children, and so many unsaved women and lost children who desperately need the love of Jesus.
Many of these are feminine needs that should “pull” on the God-given “nurturing” and life-giving hearts of our daughters. In this next generation, it’s going to take a mighty army of godly daring daughters to minister to these needs. But will our girls even hear about them?
It’s a responsibility of godly motherhood to instill in our girls a heart for the world’s needs (just look at Proverbs 31:8-9, about pleading for the cause of the speechless and those appointed to die, or verse 20, about extending our hands to the poor and the needy). As Bob Pierce prayed, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
As women of God, we need to care. Will our girls grow up to be pampered or passionate? Will they be cute, or compassionate? As moms, let’s ask God to give us more of His heart and His perspective. Our little girls don’t need to know all the nitty-gritty details of the world’s horrible evils; but as they’re old enough to understand, we need to teach our daughters to pray, and to pray HARD!
Our daughters can be radiant pure lights . . . to reach a very dark world.
We need to teach our girls to cry.
If you’re a mom with teen daughters ages 10 to 20, or a woman with a heart to mentor a younger generation for Jesus, I invite you to come see what my girls and I are up to. We’ve just launched a DARING DAUGHTERS blog, twitter, facebook page, and blogtalkradio show; in March, we’re speaking at the Teaching Them Diligently Homeschool Convention (in South Carolina); we’re leading a DARING DAUGHTERS Retreat (at Christian Renewal Center in Silverton, Oregon); and Christi and I are writing a new book for teen girls entitled Daring Daughters & Dirty Feet (coming, Lord willing, in 2012).
Learn more at Daring Daughters.