Feb

10

2013

Jen Wilkin|10:00 PM CT

I'm Not Afraid to Raise Daughters

I am standing with both of them, the one who looks like me on the left and the one who looks like her father on my right. They are tall, tall as me, and full of the willowy grace of hastily retreating girlhood.

He regards them. He smiles and says, "I'm glad I don't have daughters." He means it as a compliment. A lighthearted joke. We smile back and laugh.

I smile, yes—but I am thinking it was funnier the first time someone said it. When they were perched in a shopping cart in tutus, all of two-and-a-half feet tall. How many fathers of sons have said this? How many times? I'm glad I don't have daughters. Glad. I'm glad about it.

Why, I want to ask? Why glad? Are sons so much easier to raise? There are two of those under my roof as well. What is it about daughters that their absence in your home relieves you? Is it their emotions? Sons have those, too.

But I can see the answer as you look at my girls: how can that sweetness be brought safely to adulthood? Men you understand—the paths of their thinking, the patterns of their acting. If your sons act rashly with women the consequences can be minimized. If my daughters act rashly with men the consequences can be massive.

You think I should be afraid. You ascribe truth to the common crass joke that with a son you only have to worry about one set of sex organs, but with a daughter . . . 

No More Fear Mongering

I reject this analysis of the risk. I reject the fear-mongering apparitions of predatory sons and pregnant daughters as motivators for my parenting. This philosophy believes a pregnant daughter is the worst thing a parent has to fear. This is far from the truth. My greatest concern cannot be that they reach marriage unsullied and unharmed—it must be that they grow to love God above all else. If they make mistakes on the road to adulthood, even mistakes with permanent consequences, we must face them bravely and run to their Savior for forgiveness and help.

Do you think your sons are at less risk to be harmed by wrong decisions? You take too much comfort in their lack of a uterus. You have calculated the risk only in physical terms. There are always consequences for sin—some of them just gestate longer. If you considered my daughters as valuable as if they were your own, you would raise different sons. In all likelihood, one day you will have daughters. Raise sons who choose them well.

I am glad I have daughters. You must hear this: Glad. They are strong and smart and serene. They know what their bodies are capable of. They know what men's bodies are capable of. They are not afraid of your sons. And neither am I. They will know if your sons are worthy of their attention because their father's example has hard-wired them to recognize character. Instead of intimidating someone else's sons at the front door, he has wooed the hearts of his daughters every day of their lives. I am glad I have daughters, and by God's grace the father of their husbands will be glad I had them, too.

You do not mean to offend or challenge. I know this. My head measures your words and finds no fault, but my heart measures the culture that has taught you to repeat these lines. You catch me at a vulnerable moment.

They are running—running, I tell you—toward womanhood. No more tutus and sequined shoes. The heavy-lashed eyes of their dolls have long grown accustomed to the darkness on the highest shelf in the closet. On a day not far distant those two rumpled beds will remain neatly made side by side in the room they share. There will be no more jumbles of hangerless clothes, no twisted cords of curling irons, no fine dust of beauty products adhered to the sink top with a film of hairspray. They will be gone. Let it be known that there has been gladness in their growing and going. Let it be known that I have been glad beyond measure.

Jen Wilkin is a wife, mom to four great kids, and an advocate for women to love God with their minds through the faithful study of his Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches women the Bible. She lives in Flower Mound, Texas, and her family calls The Village Church home. Jen is the author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds (Crossway, forthcoming). You can find her at jenwilkin.blogspot.com.

  • Rebeca

    This is so beautifully written and has reminded me of how very glad I am to be a daughter of a mother who shares this sentiment. You've covered so many sensitive topics here with such grace and joy. Thank you!

  • Carlos

    I agree with Rebeca's comment that this article was beautifully written. I am the father of three daughters and am glad that God blessed me to have them. I pray that I will one day have sons-in-laws who cherish them as much as their mother and I do.

  • zilch

    I'm an atheist, but I have to say: amen. What lucky children to have such a loving mother.

  • http://myseasonalthoughts.blogspot.com/ Joy

    Wow-what a beautiful and powerful piece! Thank you, Jen for sharing your mother-heart.

  • http://philippians314.squarespace.com Kim Shay

    I have a daughter and two sons. Sometimes people worry far more about the sexual worries of their daughters, the potential risks, etc., and promptly turn around and forget that daughters can be enticed with academia just as easily.

  • http://www.sometimesalight.com Hannah Anderson

    Wonderful piece! Absolutely wonderful!

    I also have to admit that my fears often go beyond sexuality to want to protect my daughter's sensitivity and gentle heart. My boys are all rough and tumble--although they exhibit their own forms of sensitivity as well--but my daughter has that more feminine expression of it that makes her perhaps more vulnerable in a world of evil and pain.

    At the same time, I know it's this very vulnerability and gentleness that God can use to change the world. Paired with courage and strength, this feminine sensitivity is just as powerful as all the male aggression in the world.

    (Disclaimer: I am not trying to force male/female stereotypes onto our daughters and sons, but there are patterns specific to each gender that we must acknowledge.)

  • Shelly W.

    "If you considered my daughters as valuable as if they were your own, you would raise different sons." Wow. What a powerful statement. As a mom to three beautiful daughters, I echo this post in every way. Thank you for writing it.

  • Keith

    Just another gracious reminder from my heavenly Father of how blessed I am to be the father of two precious little girls.

  • Gilbert Montez

    Outstanding, Jen. We were blessed to raise two daughters who are now grown and married. They are beautiful, confident, God-fearing women who have blessed us with two handsome, confident, God-fearing sons-in-law.

    We count it pure joy to have raised them. I sometimes get asked if we would rather have had boys. I always answer, "Never. I remember me as a teenager."

  • Nathan B

    This may be my favorite article at TGC...and there have been some good ones.

  • barkercrowd

    Thank you for this. No. A pregnant daughter is not the worst thing that could happen. I had one. Now I have the most delightful, beautiful granddaughter on the planet that I love ferociously. My daughter is an excellent mother. She knows that she has made mistakes and chosen a very difficult path for her and her child, but I am seeing hints of a dependence on God. And if her rash actions and poor choices cause her to more fully embrace the glorious grace of God who sent Jesus for the weak and the sick and the sinful and the shamed, then every bit of this is worth it.

  • Ana Hicks

    Thank you so much for sharing this insight. I have felt the same way for many years as a daughter and now as a mom but I could not have put it so well. Thank you and I pray that God will keep on helping as to be better parents, to raise our children to live fully for our Lord from early on.

  • http://abisomeone.blogspot.com Peggy

    So lovely!

    I wish I had at least one daughter....

    I have three wonderful sons ... some who will someday meet daughters like yours. I am teaching them to be men who honor women....

    Be blessed....

  • http://abisomeone.blogspot.com Peggy

    ...not "some" -- but "sons".

  • Chad Damewood

    I must admit that I was afraid of raising a daughter being the youngest of six boys but my daughter brings amazing joy into my life. God is beyond good.

  • Deb

    Jen, thank you for writing this. I agree that this may be one of my favorite articles on here.

  • Estelle

    It's things like these (and as I get older--just turned 22) that I realize how wild my parents' love for me is and always has been.

    Thanks for writing this.

  • Laura Johnson

    What a beautiful piece of writing. This Mama of 2 girls is much encouraged.

  • Tabitha

    Wonderful post! Everyone raising daughters should be so encouraged.

  • Em

    After a week where I heard too many Christians express hopes that their unborn children would turn out to be boys and not girls, this was much appreciated.

  • EMSoliDeoGloria

    Awesome post!

    I appreciated this line, particularly: "If they make mistakes on the road to adulthood, even mistakes with permanent consequences, we must face them bravely and run to their Savior for forgiveness and help."

    So true. We must consciously reject philosophies of parenting based on the production of trophy children. When it comes to raising children, as in everything else, our goal ought not be some vision of scucess, representing by an outcome over which we, honestly, have no control. Instead, our goal should be faithfulness (faithfully loving, forgiving, and encouraging our children; repenting to them & our heavenly Father when we fail). Because faithfulness, biblically defined, is success.

  • Martha

    AMEN! I have 3 daughters and one son. My prayer for them every night is that they would be the mightiest kids of their generation, not out of fear but out of purpose, as image bearers of God. Thank you for sharing your courageous heart. Blessings to you and your crew!

  • http://kelligalyean.blogspot.com kelli

    This is one of my favorite posts you have ever written. So glad you shared it here!

  • JoAnne

    As the mother of two sons, you make me want a daughter even more now!

  • http://blogofmanly.com Chris Gould (@Gould_Chris)

    As a father of both a daughter and a son, I can definitely say I am more comfortable with caring for my son than I ever have been for my daughter. But I have also made it my mission to raise my daughter to be confident, affirmed, loved, and respected, so that she won't be as vulnerable to the type of boy that I was growing up. In the same vein, I am committed to raise my son to respect women and treat them with dignity and deference. I am thankful for both of my children!

    Well said, and thank you!

  • diana

    I teared reading this. I was raised in a pretty strict home and my dad put my mom on a pedestal and I thought all men did. Unfortunatley they don't and my parents urging for me to marry young had me marry one who didn't.

    I have raised 2 great girls and i wish I had read an article like this before raising them.
    thank you

  • Brenda

    Fantastic article! I agree with the whole thing so much.

  • http://andyblanks.com Andy Blanks

    Amen. THANK YOU for this.

  • Cathy

    A hearty AMEN to your article. When I announced I was having my 2nd daughter, instead of congratulations, I got, "I'm sorry". The small regard for girls (not in China, but HERE) cut deeply. They have been treasures to both my husband and me - as have our two sons.

    Your message is mind renewing and touching. Thank you for speaking the truth so eloquently and powerfully.

  • Lynn

    Wow! I came to this site by accident, and this article caught my eye. I echo those who commented before -- this is beautiful and powerful!

    This piece is so great that it is difficult to pick a favorite part, but the following portion leapt out at me. "If you considered my daughters as valuable as if they were your own, you would raise different sons. In all likelihood, one day you will have daughters. Raise sons who choose them well." AMEN! I do not have a daughter or sons -- but as a single woman -- as a daughter looking for someone's son who might be suitable for marriage, to this I say, AMEN and AMEN again!!

  • http://www.usmajcole.blogspot.com Janelle

    I loved this article. As my oldest boy is now 12 I think about this subject often, I want him to be a young man of integrity and character and I remind him and his 2 brothers often about their choices and how to look for a woman after God's own heart to share their lives with. Meanwhile I too am trying to raise my girl to know that same character and integrity.
    NO matter what both our sons and daughters need to only follow those who are running toward the Lord!!
    Blessings & Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.therootedblog.blogspot.com Cameron Cole

    I mean, WOW, that's an awesome article and one heckuva a good encouragement to all dads. Rock on, Jen! Way to go!

  • Kristi

    I don't have any daughters yet, just 2 sons, but this article was so instructive for me as well. Very well written.

    I love your writing style too.

  • http://adebtortomercy.blogspot.com Wyeth

    I am the father of two sons, now almost 17 & 20-years-old, and have often said I am glad I don't have daughters. But never, to the best of my recollection, have I said that with thoughts of sex or pregnancy in mind. Why would you ascribe thoughts to men without first asking them why they are glad they don't have daughters? I cannot speak for other men/fathers, but MY reason for being glad I don't have daughters is because I have taught probably hundreds of teenaged girls as a public school teacher. Over the years, I have found boys, generally, to be far easier to deal with. Boys, generally, are far less "high-maintenance." By and large, boys have far fewer unpredictable mood swings. I have also found boys far less likely to take offense when no offense was ever intended. Also, in my experience, boys are less likely to get bent out-of-shape over things I never said in the first place. And it has certainly been my experience that boys are less likely to accuse me of thinking things that I never thought!

    • Akash Charles

      I guess daughters can be stuff in some ways- but If my sister was not in my family it would be really boring!!!!- girls for example tend to be more empathetic, I could not be bothered most of the time- but the differences make it more exciting!!!!

    • http://www.sometimesalight.com Hannah Anderson

      I have to admit that I've thought these same things in the past despite being a woman. I always said that I wanted boys because they would be "easier" than girls. And yet, I've come to accept that this was my own immaturity speaking--focusing on the challenges without recognizing the absolutely invaluable contributions that girls make.

      I've come to believe that it's a matter of greatest strength/greatest weakness. Girls struggle these ways because they are more socially/emotionally inclined. Boys struggle in different ways precisely because they are not! Truth be told, the problem lies in our value system--we do not see the challenges as worth what is to be gained by raising our daughters to use their emotional/social inclinations for the Kingdom.

      If there is a problem, it is with us--not our daughters.

    • Samantha

      Agreed, on all points. I was a public school teacher, and now I'm a mother to a son and a daughter. There's a perception, and it is often accurate, that boys are easier to raise because they are for the most part less complicated. Boys' clothing and toys are also less expensive! Why not ask people to explain their comments rather than jumping to a conclusion? They may be coming from a very different frame of mind than you assume.

    • WO

      Regardless of their frame of mind, her point was just proven. You are still placing a judgment on girls...that girls are somehow "less" (or more difficult) because they are more emotional, etc. Boys and girls do think and process things differently, but they each have their own set of challenges. I agree with Hannah that we have raise our sons and daughters to be who God has created them to be and that may look different based on their gender, and it may not. I too am a high school teacher, and I have seen plenty of drama from all sides...boys and girls. I think it's important to channel their energies whether emotional or otherwise to knowing God and serving him. I know that with my daughters people have made negative comments to me as well...things like, "I won." or "Glad you have to pay for all those weddings and not me." While I do not hold it against them or get angry about it, there are hidden cultural and societal thought patterns that have been passed down.

    • JLawson

      That is an awful and shameful thing to say. I have girls and boys and I thank God for both. I am raising girls that only deserve the best men in their lives. I homeschool and wouldn't dream of dumping my children into a public school for fear that they would get a teacher that does not value them as much as me and their father do. I am guessing that you would like for your sons to marry decent women but by your account there aren't too many of those out there. Your comment was insulting. I hope none of my daughters end up with father or mother-in-laws that dislike females.

      • http://adebtortomercy.blogspot.com Wyeth

        Well, I happen to think this post was insulting to males. I am not a predator, and I have sons who aren't predators-in-the-making, and I don't appreciate the subtle insinuation. I also won't apologize for telling the truth. You may not like the truth I tell, but I am speaking of what I have seen and experienced.

        Furthermore, you don't know me. You imply I don't like females, but that is not the truth, for I never stated such a thing (confirming my experience that females are more likely to accuse me of thinking things I never thought at all). There have been many women in my life that I love and respect. I happen to have been raised by a wonderful and godly woman (one of the wisest persons I've ever known) who was married to an honorable man. I am married to an absolutely wonderful woman who is the best wife I could hope for and a great mother to our sons. Some of the greatest influences in my life have been women, and some of the dearest students I've taught were females. But, that doesn't change the fact that, in 2013, women like these are rare (and getting rarer). I pray both of my sons find excellent wives ("excellent" as in Proverbs 31:10), because I know that in our day, especially, they are the exception, not the rule.

        • Jordan

          I don't think the point about predators was a generalization about men that should lead to being offended if you are male. The point I think being made is that people have fear surrounding girls and raising them that correlates to the actions of many young men.

          This may not be what you are thinking but it is not an uncommon mentality. I am the father of three girls and I can't count on my hands how many times I have been out in public and some person I don't even know looks at me with my cute kids and says "three girls huh, wow I feel sorry for you." Usually I laugh along with them, but over time this has begun to get under my skin.

          I have had people say to me "Hope you have a shotgun ..and when the boys come over just make sure you are cleaning it." This is exactly the mentality I think she is referencing.

          Our church recently, canceled it's missions prayer meeting that only meets once a month to watch the Superbowl and sit around with sons and daughters while a half naked woman shows the world what it deems worthy of celebration. Is there need for concern? We live in a culture that celebrates those who "cut-loose" from moral restraints on the one hand, while we live in fear of the fruit we are cultivating on the other.

          I have friends who work with child trafficking victims who say they need teams who will go to work at the Superbowl to try to help combat the fact that at events like that women will be brought in by the droves who will be trafficked, raped and abused for the "entertainment" of men. This issue has become pandemic. It is a sign of the times and where many men are headed in our culture. There is a predatory reality that is infiltrating men by the masses in our culture and throughout the world that as a FACT is increasing at an astronomical rate. If you don't believe me, work for a few weeks with those who engage human traffickers in our nation. I guarantee you will have trouble sleeping at night when you see how horrific and rampant this has become.

          In case you think I am male bashing, let me remind you, I am a man. I believe in men, created in the image of God, and I have longed to have a son not because I would prefer one to my daughters but I believe that sons and daughters have equal value and I would be grateful to raise a son of my own.

          I also believe that there are indeed many Godly men out there and I pray continuously that my daughters will seek out men like that and that they will grow up to be the type of women who men of character would desire. The reality though is that character seems to be increasingly lacking in men more often than not in these times. I believe as a complementaritian that it is an enormous issue that the church faces that men of character are an increasing minority.

          You can look at even the secular books and statistics that beg the question "where have all the men gone" or "the rise of women" etc, and easily see that these are issues that should not be ignored. If men are the leaders of families in the sense of primary responsibility than I think the author above is on to something when she calls people to train up sons of character rather than continuing to devalue the worth of daughters with snide jokes or a defense of why you think boys are going to be the better of the two when it comes down to it.

          We are too often married to the surrounding culture in practice and worldview so that we embrace it's views on the roles and value of women and daughters. Given the current climate perhaps it should not offend your sensibilities to have someone say, "I reject the fear-mongering apparitions of predatory sons and pregnant daughters as motivators for my parenting."

          I realize I am probably not helping this with this rant, but I for one am sick of hearing my daughters devalued and embrace this authors rejection of these cultural values being placed upon me or my children.

          It seems we live in a culture that places "convenience" on a level of importance which ascribes value to something or someone based upon how much trouble they may or may not be for us. If I had continued to allow myself to be brainwashed by the zeitgeist concerning these things I would not be a father at all today. In truth being a parent is incredibly "inconvenient" -the exact reason so many of my younger married friends continue to view having kids as a hindrance to the lives they want for themselves.

          Let's value young men and raise up boys to be men of character while avoiding the tendency in our culture to base any of our preferences on whether or not convenience and ease can be maximized or not. I hope that I will raise my daughters to become women of character, and yes, raising daughters is challenging for me. My mother in law has been living with us so that I am surrounded by women and it is often hard to be the only male in the house, but in no way do I regret that I have three daughters and no sons.

          • Lori

            Jordan, Thank you. :D

  • http://Peterdanieljames.com Peter Daniel James

    This is so very beautifully written. The last paragraph especially didn't just tell me that my time with my daughter is short and crucial but showed me so vividly that tears formed in my eyes. I am very glad to have a daughter as well. Thank you for so graciously addressing this cultural fault of ours.

    The only thing I might add is that God knew how heartbreaking having daughters would be for himself yet he gladly made his first daughter Eve anyway. Not only that but Jesus is the groom that is marrying a sullied and harmed bride and doing so gladly.

  • FOREBARCAJEEP1899LB

    One of the best things I have read in a while. Almost every sentence is a thing of beauty.
    Bless.

  • http://www.homeschoolonthecroft.com/ Homeschool on the Croft

    The last paragraph made me cry :'( ...but a good crying. Our two daughters are approaching 16 and 18. They were both born on Mothering Sundays, two years apart. Could I *possibly* have had better Mother's Day gifts? Absolutely NOT! Anyone who is glad not to have daughters clearly hasn't had them ...

    We have been blessed with sons too. I wouldn't swap them for the world.

    But, oh boy!, I wouldn't swap my daughters for the world either! Every minute I've had them has been a blessing to me - yes, even one or two hard decisions that have come our way.

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  • Nikki

    I am absolutely appalled with this article. While I have never uttered the words, "I'm glad I don't have daughters"; I also have never offended another parent by implying that their children were automatically a predator b/c they are (gasp!) MALE! I long for the day when I have a little girl to call my daughter so that I can experience the differences in the sexes.
    In the mean time, I will raise my two sons to respect ALL human kind because it is what we are called to do. They are learning to be kind, respectful and cherish relationships. Relationships are all encompassing; parents, friends and girlfriends. I will continue to teach them to treat their mate with honor and respect and that they DESERVE THE SAME HONOR AND RESPECT IN RETURN! I will pray for the future mates of my sons in that they respect themselves enough to protect themselves in all that they do, say and WEAR. I will also exhibit respect for fellow Christian parents because we have the hardest job of all.
    For now, I will take pride in the fact that I am my sons "beautiful princess" and he is my "handsome prince" and our family will continue to nurture our sons as precious individuals!

    • zilch

      As the father of a son and a daughter, and as a human being, I can say without doubt: we need both. Both sons and daughters are a blessing.

      Who says there's isn't common ground between theists and atheists?

    • http://www.sometimesalight.com Hannah Anderson

      I'm not sure that the author was saying that all men are predatory by their very maleness but that we live in a culture where men regularly abuse and take advantage of women sexually. This is not to say that all men do, but when you are raising daughters in this paradigm, it can scare you. Certainly women manipulate men, but in our society, men still have the upper hand when it comes to sexuality.

      • JLawson

        Until you have sat on the end of such an insulting comment as "I am glad I dont have girls" you may not be able to appreciate what she is saying. I have both and I take such offense when I hear people say such insensitive things. I am sure it would be equally offensive to hear someone say they dont want boys for some goofy reason such as emotions, or their sexual organs. The truth is though that those comments are rare. Thank God for girls though. I wonder how China is handling the fact that they toss their girls aside and now have such an uneven ratio of male to female. Those boys do grow up and want to take wives.

    • Lori

      I'm not entirely sure that the author meant "predatory" in the sense of a sexual offender but, perhaps, in the sense of a large jungle cat. I know as a single woman I've found myself hoping to have boys and worried about having daughters, afraid for them, and have been convicted both of my low value of my own sex and for not trusting God.

  • Daphne

    Jen, as Mom to two daughters, ages nearly 16 and 17, your words resonate with me: "They are running—running, I tell you—toward womanhood. No more tutus and sequined shoes. . .There will be no more jumbles of hangerless clothes, no twisted cords of curling irons, no fine dust of beauty products adhered to the sink top with a film of hairspray. They will be gone. Let it be known that there has been gladness in their growing and going. Let it be known that I have been glad beyond measure." God used you to remind me to be thankful for both my girls today.

  • Joy

    Jen,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to put these thoughts into words! And for writing well.

    I am thankful that I am the mother of two boys.
    Not because I am relieved that I do not have daughters.
    But because I believe God's gifts are good -- and for whatever reason, he saw it fitting for me to mother boys.
    It is a joy.
    And it is overwhelming.
    On my days of little faith, I cannot say confidently, "I'm not afraid to raise sons." Sometimes I'm almost terrified.

    Yes, our boys are often straightforward in communication.
    Yes, our boys are often 'low maintenance' in terms of clothing and grooming.
    And obviously I don't worry about them ending up pregnant outside of marriage.

    But the daily task of helping our sons grow and mature spiritually is NOT always straightforward.
    Less emotionally-expressive does NOT equal low maintenance emotionally.
    And I grapple with the responsibility of raising godly young men who will respect women instead of objectifying them--will love others instead of using them.

    Perhaps some Dads say "I'm glad I don't have daughters," because they are just being honest that they would have no clue how to understand or be a good father to a daughter. They've never had daughters. And, well, they've never been girls themselves. If moms are honest, they might admit to feeling the same way, at times, about parenting boys.

    That is what is so wonderful about God's grace. He doesn't say to us, "Wow, you'll make a great parent. Here. Have some kids." Instead he chooses to bless us, sinful and imperfect as we are, offering us, in Christ, the grace we need to love our children well.

  • Catherine

    Beautifully, brilliantly, insightfully, wisely, lovingly written. Brought tears to my eyes. May the Lord Jesus shine through your daughters and sons!

  • ellen

    I am more afraid of raising daughters because of the power men often wield against women. I have too many friends and family who have been forever wounded and shattered by the actions and choices of men, and that feeds my fear far more than a daughter's promiscuity.

  • Marc Dyers

    6 days from now (God willing) my wife and I will visit the gynaecologist to find out the gender of our unborn child. We have already been blessed with one son and now we wait in eager anticipation for the
    birth of our second.

    Truth be told, for reasons that now seem so stupid, I have been praying that we have another son. Before I read this article I could easily have been the man who said, "I'm glad I don't have daughters!" I would have questioned God's wisdom if He had given us a daughter.

    But you have helped me see the light! Right now I feel like having a daughter would be the highest privilege that God can give a parent!

    Thank you for your ministry to me!

  • Jason Price

    Thank you for this article. I am the only man in my household the husband of one wife, and thefather of three precious girls. They are an unimaginably great treasure entrusted to me by God, one for which I am greatful and mightily blessed.

  • jj

    Thank you for this article. I used to live as a missionary in a very male-dominated culture where girls were not valued to same extent as boys and it really was a burden for their families to have them. Sex trafficking, female infanticide and gender selective abortion were common there. It's discouraging when you hear preferential sentiments for boys being echoed in our own culture. However, I believe in most cases it comes from fear and ignorance. Some men feel at a loss when it comes to raising little girls, but it doesn't necessarily mean they see them as of lesser value. And how their feelings change when they do have a daughter! If they are truly selfish enough to not want them because 'they're too much work' then, well, they don't deserve them!

    But I think we can see from the responses that there are many proud and thankful daddies of little girls and I praise God for that. I am turning 30 this year and my father often expresses how thankful and honored he is to be my dad. I gave him a few gray hairs but I rest assured that he had great joy in raising me. Dads, you have no idea how much your devotion, love and faithfulness will mean in the lives of your daughters.

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  • http://ourfathersdaughters.wordpress.com Gayle Woody

    Thank you posting such a lovely expression of the uniqueness of girls. We have one son and three daughters. By God's grace each of our lovely daughters have married young men who love God (as well as our dughters) and we have been blessed with 11 grandchildren. As your article says, the key to our daughters' journey through girlhood to womanhood was their father. He implanted in each a respect for their Heavenly Father, themselves, and an understanding that they reflect the image of God. It was, and continues to be a joyful experience and I am so thankful God blessed us with girls!

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  • Katy

    This was beautiful, and now I'm crying :)

  • Cara

    First let me bring some much needed perspective to this discussion -- my husband and I have tried desperately for a baby for many months now (and through one miscarriage) and I would be thrilled beyond words with a son or daughter. We have no preference whatsoever. Any baby is a blessing, period.

    Now I have to argue with the idea that parents only worry about daughters getting pregnant.

    I am the oldest sister in my family with two younger brothers. Now that I'm an adult, my mom has confided in me that she was always more worried that one of my brothers would get a girl pregnant than that I would become pregnant. If they did, that girl might choose to have an abortion or have the baby and then move away with her grandchild.

    Thankfully my brothers are virtuous, smart, responsible, wonderful men and this was never an issue. But the point is -- mistakes can be made by either gender, each child has his or her own path to uncover, and his or her own gifts to contribute to the family.

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  • Stephen Gonzalez

    I'd be lying if I didn't say I am sometimes scared knowing I will be raising two daughters. Well one now and the other in the womb due in two months or so.

    Reading this my heart got anxious and my fear and unbelief exposed. Currently deployed I see what men think of women and I know that will only be reproduced more and more and more. It scares me to know what can happen to my babies.

    I am also challenged by your article to know protecticing them from the fall of this world shouldn't be my primary goal but helping them to see loving God is thee most important thing above all else.

    Thank you for this article!

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  • Andrew

    "He regards them. He smiles and says, 'I'm glad I don't have daughters.' He means it as a compliment. A lighthearted joke. We smile back and laugh."

    You may be reading too much into comments like this--at least occasionally. Many men would love to have a daughter. A comment like this may actually mask a longing.

  • http://www.fpcy.org Keith G

    Thank you. I have daughters 3 and 1 and have heard the line too--befuddling, enfuriating and well...I am so glad they are part of my life.

  • http://brettfish.wordpress.com brettfish

    great post, Jen, thank you so much - this topic [well danger/violence for women] has been on my mind a lot lately [and more so yesterday when my wife got accosted in the street by a drugged up man but fortunately managed to get away physically unharmed] and i've been blogging a lot about it but you have just perfectly grabbed the other side of it - we can't live in fear and we need to celebrate what we have and who we can influence and yeah just what a great post... [from someone who doesn't particularly want kids of my/our own but still loves young people and has a history of working with them]

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