“This is my son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17
“You’re mad at me…” her gaze shifts to the floor.
“Honey! No, I’m not mad. I’m just tired…and frustrated. I’m sorry I used that tone of voice, butI’m not mad. Promise.” My brain shovels faster than my words can respond.
And so it goes.
I have a daughter that was pure bonfire when she was little, but seems to have morphed into a fragile flower. Every time I make a minor correction or second guess one of her decisions, her face drops and her voice fades. Her eyes seek approval from mine.
The same girl who came home from pre-school proclaiming, “I don’t like my teacher and I absolutely will NOT speak to her” now fears disappointing any teacher.
The same girl whose toddler temper tantrums drove me to greet my husband at the end of each day with, “Welcome home, babe, she’s ALL yours!” seems to have lost her voice when it comes to challenging mine.
When we go shopping, I sift through racks of hanging clothes and declare, “This one looks cute? Wanna try it on?”
“Yeah…maybe…” comes her polite reply.
In that moment I know she has no interest whatsoever in that matronly blouse, but she doesn’t want to tell me. She’ll dutifully try it on all the while knowing it’s my taste, not hers.
My heart breaks inside.
Why won’t she just tell me what she’s really thinking? Why does she feel like she has to placate me in this way?
“Sweetie, I’m just making suggestions, but if you don’t like it, that’s fine! Just tell me. No hard feelings. I’ll love you either way!” I attempt to reassure her.
“Okay,” she says in a breathy tone of relief. Like I’ve just given her permission to be herself.
It always astounds me how much pressure I feel as a mom to validate my kids. I don’t want to “ruin” them with my nagging and strong-armed opinions. Why do a mother’s actions and words carry so much weight? For good or for bad.
Forget a college fund, people! We’re saving for future “Mom therapy.” I’m sure my kids will have much to unpack over the years.
I just want both of my daughters to know I love everything about them! I may not always show it in the best way, or even at all, but it’s true. Deep down, underneath all my parenting flaws there is nothing they could say or do that would change my love for them. When I think about who they are and how God created them, I am nothing but pleased.
How can I get them to lean into that truth without feeling like they need to justify everything the do or try harder to earn my love?
These thoughts cause me to pause as I circle back around to the question that continuously sits on the edge of my mind — if I (an earthly mother) know this truth and want to convey it so profoundly for my daughter, how much more do I believe in the heavenly father’s love for me?
We can spout the truth of how much our daughters are loved until we’re blue in the face, but if they don’t see it lived out they may never catch hold of the vision for themselves. I don’t say this to overwhelm, but to challenge and inspire.
Jesus heard His Father speak of his “belovedness” which formed the basis for ALL He said and did (John 5:19). We, sweet sisters, are image bearers of Jesus Christ and by extension carry this same moniker — BELOVED.
We don’t need to DO anything more to earn God’s love. We don’t need to join another committee or pick out the right outfit or reinvent ourselves. We just need to receive the self God has already bestowed on us and live into the unique call He has for us each and every day.
How are you showing your daughter what it looks like to live loved? To live knowing she (and you) are God’s beloved?
A Mother’s Prayer
How are you showing your daughter what it looks like to live loved by God? #PrayersForGirls Click To Tweet
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving me so much that you gave your only begotten, beloved Son so I could live in the radiance of your love! Help me to live loved, in freedom and grace, so my daughter can see and know the same profound truth. Help me embrace this truth so my actions speak evenlouder than my words. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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