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Posts Tagged ‘daughters’

The following post was forwarded to me.  Thank you, Terri!  This is wisdom from another “ezerwoman.”  This is true Titus 2 mentoring 🙂  Mrs. Hall, the mother of sons, expresses it so well that there’s no need for me — the mother of grown and married sons with sons of their own — to write something similar.  Young women wherever you are and whatever you’ve been taught by this culture: Please read this!  As for the moms of daughters (and sons), please visit Kimberly Hall’s blog “Given Breath.”

Dear girls,

I have some information that might interest you. Last night, as we sometimes do, our family sat around the dining-room table and looked through your social media photos.

We have teenage sons, and so naturally there are quite a few pictures of you lovely ladies to wade through. Wow – you sure took a bunch of selfies in your pajamas this summer!  Your bedrooms are so cute! Our eight-year-old daughter brought this to our attention, because with three older brothers who have rooms that smell like stinky cheese, she notices girly details like that.

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I think the boys notice other things. For one, it appears that you are not wearing a bra.

I get it – you’re in your room, so you’re heading to bed, right? But then I can’t help but notice the red carpet pose, the extra-arched back, and the sultry pout.  What’s up? None of these positions is one I naturally assume before sleep, this I know.

So, here’s the bit that I think is important for you to realize.  If you are friends with a Hall boy on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, then you are friends with the whole Hall family.

Please understand this, also: we genuinely like keeping up with you. We enjoy seeing life through your unique and colorful lens – which is what makes your latest self-portrait so extremely unfortunate.

Those posts don’t reflect who you are! We think you are lovely and interesting, and usually very smart. But, we had to cringe and wonder what you were trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to say?

And now – big bummer – we have to block your posts. Because, the reason we have these (sometimes awkward) family conversations around the table is that we care about our sons, just as we know your parents care about you.

I know your family would not be thrilled at the thought of my teenage boys seeing you only in your towel. Did you know that once a male sees you in a state of undress, he can’t ever un-see it?  You don’t want the Hall boys to only think of you in this sexual way, do you?

Neither do we.

And so, in our house, there are no second chances, ladies. If you want to stay friendly with the Hall men, you’ll have to keep your clothes on, and your posts decent.  If you try to post a sexy selfie, or an inappropriate YouTube video – even once – you’ll be booted off our on-line island.

I know that sounds harsh and old-school, but that’s just the way it is under this roof for a while. We hope to raise men with a strong moral compass, and men of integrity don’t linger over pictures of scantily clad high-school girls.

Every day I pray for the women my boys will love.  I hope they will be drawn to real beauties, the kind of women who will leave them better people in the end. I also pray that my sons will be worthy of this kind of woman, that they will be patient – and act honorably – while they wait for her.

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Girls, it’s not too late! If you think you’ve made an on-line mistake (we all do – don’t fret – I’ve made some doozies), RUN to your accounts and take down  anything that makes it easy for your male friends to imagine you naked in your bedroom.

Will you trust me? There are boys out there waiting and hoping for women of character. Some young men are fighting the daily uphill battle to keep their minds pure, and their thoughts praiseworthy.

You are growing into a real beauty, inside and out.

Act like her, speak like her, post like her.

I’m glad we’re friends.

Mrs. Hall

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African American grandmother, mom & daughterThe phone rang.  Almost out the door, I turned to answer.  It was Lauren, the daughter of my friend Jane.  “I’m so glad you’re home.  This call is completely out of the blue, but I wanted you to know that my mom told me.”  There was a pause, then, “She said you would understand.”

I did.  I knew immediately that Jane, after thirty-some years, had decided to confess her abortion to her only living child.

Did Jane have to confess this sin to Lauren?  No.  Did mother risk a changed relationship with her daughter?  Yes.  But, as Lauren talked with me, I sensed she was genuinely relieved to know the truth.  “Suddenly everything makes more sense,” Lauren said.  “Certain attitudes and behaviors of my mom now have new meaning to me.”

Lauren continued, “I often wondered why mom seemed, well, heavy with life”.

“Do you mean melancholy?” I asked.

“Yes,” Lauren replied.  “That’s it.  Melancholy.  And, you know, she doesn’t really want to discuss the tough things out there in the world.”

Lauren explained that birthdays “have often been difficult for my mom.”  There was something else.  “Mom apologized a lot,” Lauren said, “as if she didn’t think she was a good mom.  That made no sense to me because she is a good mom.”

Lauren continued. “She’s a good grandmother, too.  She gives an extraordinary amount of herself — her time and energy — to my children.”  Lauren was expressing what I knew to be true.  My friend provides daycare for her grandchildren during the week.  She returns home tired, but she tells me over and over again how privileged she feels to be a grandmother and how precious the time is with her grandchildren.  This is not unusual for most of us grandmothers.  Lauren agreed, but added that now she sees her mother’s relationship with her grandchildren “in a new light.”

It does not surprise me that it took so long for Jane to confide in Lauren.  It took many years for Jane to tell me her story in bits and pieces.  Only as she learned to trust me did Jane share details of the choices that made abortion thinkable.  But, telling her daughter was different.  Jane was afraid.  The harmony with her daughter mattered too much.  She did not want to lose it.

The phone call from Lauren to me was significant.  It was evidence of God’s work.  He had been strengthening the bond between this mother and child.

“We had our difficult days when I was in high school,” Lauren told me.  She assumed it was the usual stress between moms and daughters made more challenging by single motherhood.  “But, you know what?  I’ve always known the blessing of two parents who love me.”

Lauren supposed that her mother tended to be melancholy about life, in large part, because of the divorce.  But, with Lauren’s knowledge of the abortion came new understanding and opportunity to process certain memories and experiences.  It seemed that Lauren was responding to the surprise of her mother’s abortion in much the same way I had.  Neither of us turned away from Jane.  Instead, the Holy Spirit cultivated a greater love.

Listening to Lauren, I wondered.  With her carefully guarded secret now exposed, would Jane’s energy be better used?  In knowing her mother’s restlessness, doubt, and unfaithfulness in marriage before the decision of abortion, would Lauren better avoid temptations?

“My marriage is a struggle,” Lauren told me.  “I was nearly tempted away from my husband.”  But, her mother recognized the signs.

Oh, what a difference is made when one generation mentors another!  When a mother is not afraid to act her age or revisit the mistakes of her past, she becomes an invaluable teacher.  She can steer the younger woman away from foolishness and despair.   Jane identified her daughter’s marital frustration and impatience.  She knew the consequences of doubting God and determining for herself the way life ought to be.  She had searched for a more preferable love.  She allowed herself to be wooed by another man.  And, to “fix” the resulting “problem,” she scheduled an abortion.

Jane knows the generational effects of her abortion.  That decision influenced the way she sees her own mother.  Her daughter.  Her grandchildren.

I’m sure that, on occasion, Lauren will ponder her mother’s seemingly strange apologies, but she will also know wisdom gained through her mother’s experience.  There is every reason to believe that, from now on, both mother and daughter can bear witness to one another of the divine order and amazing grace of their heavenly Father.  In this, there is hope for generations to come.

Lauren was at ease during our phone conversation.  She had only one question.  “Did the abortion happen before or after me?”

“It was after you were born,” I told her.  “But, please believe me when I say that the decision had nothing – absolutely nothing – to do with you.  Your mother loved you before you were born and she loves you now.  One of her greatest fears, I think, was that she could never be the kind of mother to you that her mother was to her.  The love, however, that your mom has always had for you is as real as the love God has for you both.”

Lauren had not shed a tear to this point, but now she gave way to emotion.  Between sobs, she whispered, “Thank you.  I needed to hear that.”

Can a daughter find comfort in her mother’s failures?  I believe so.  It was helpful for Lauren to realize that her mother had struggled with a marital frustration and impatience similar to her own.  It was instructive for Lauren to know that doubting God and putting ourselves in His place leads to danger.  It was protective of Lauren when her mother chose to remember the sins of her past.  When she did not resist using lessons learned the hard way, mother was equipped to lead daughter and grandchildren away from harm.

Lauren has been granted a new perspective… one that will serve her family well.  But, just as time was needed for Jane to trust me – little by little – with her story, time was also needed for mother to trust daughter.  Jane and I talk often about God’s faithfulness in her life.  I believe it is that faithfulness on the rocky road of life that nurtured trust between mother and daughter.

A long time ago, Jane gave me permission to share her story with women wherever I speak.  “I can’t tell my story,” Jane said to me.  “But you can.  So, please.  Tell young women not to do what I did.  And tell older women that Jesus loves them no matter what the sins of their past might be.  The forgiveness of Jesus is real.”

I have done what my friend asked.  And, in doing so, many women have approached me privately with confessions of their own.  Christian women in every family and congregation are carrying heavy burdens of disappointment and guilt.  They see the Cross.  They know what Jesus did for them.  They may even trust His forgiveness.  But, like Jane, they are unable or unwilling to forgive themselves.

It is my prayer that Lauren will help her mother forgive herself.  God is the God of relationships… and of the healing that comes through tenderheartedness.  He uses parents and children, friends and even strangers to bring us closer to Him.

Perhaps this Christmas will bear a gift never before found under my friend’s tree.  As Jane looks into the eyes of her daughter and grandchildren, may she find confidence in her confession of Christ.  Confidence that emboldens her to proclaim:

He who is mighty has done great things for me.  Holy is His name.  His mercy is for those who trust Him… from generation to generation.

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What follows is an article by John Stonestreet published July 19 in Breakpoint.  I was going to quote John, but you need to read his article in its entirety.  Thank you, John, for sharing the experiences of Timothy Dalrymple and Martin Daubney — for the sake of our sons and daughters.

Writing at Patheos.com, Timothy Dalrymple tells perhaps a familiar story for many: “I first saw pornography by flashlight in an underground fort I had built with my brother and friends,” he said.

When he first looked at those pictures at nine years old, Dalrymple says they were “seared into his mind.” And the way he viewed women was deeply changed.

He explains, “It was not the last time I would see pornography, or naked women when I shouldn’t…Whether they’re photos in magazines, images on the internet, scenes in movies, or stolen glances, their imprint sinks deep into the male mind, it shapes its patterns of thought, and remains there for years, even decades. You cannot unsee them…”

But Dalrymple says all of that changed when he became the father of a little girl. The images remained, but he was forced to ask himself a painful question: What if these images were my child?

That’s the same question Martin Daubney, longtime editor of the British magazine “Loaded,” asked himself when he became a father in 2009. Last month in the UK Daily Mail he told the story of how he spent eight years pushing this “soft porn” magazine to raunchier extremes to compete with rival publications and the internet.

He thought of his work as “harmless fun,” and dismissed his critics as “party-poopers.”

But when his son was born three years ago, Daubney had a crisis of conscience.

“It…changed my views so forcibly that within a year I’d quit a dream job… I started seeing the women in my magazine not as sexual objects, but as somebody’s daughter. To think that girls who posed for our magazine had once had their [diapers] changed, had once been taught to take their first steps and had once been full of childlike hope…it was almost heartbreaking.”

After Martin quit his job and began devoting more time to raising his son, things became even clearer.

“I am ashamed at the way I used to defend the magazine…” he says. “When I edited Loaded, I’d often get asked ‘Would you want your daughter to appear in topless photos?’ and I’d squirm, but I’d feel obliged…to say ‘yes’.”

If asked the same question today, Daubney says he’d have a different answer: “Not on my life.”

Becoming parents drastically changes the way we think about things like pornography because we’re forced to remember that these de-humanized objects are those made in the image of God. As Chuck Colson used to say, and my colleague Eric Metaxas points out in his book on Bonhoeffer, the first step to destroying or abusing human life is always dehumanization.

And that’s why one of the great tasks of the church is to continue sounding wake-up calls whenever we can — to each other and to the culture. Lives are at stake.

And that’s exactly what was done recently by Robert George, co-author of the Manhattan Declaration, and Muslim professor Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in a letter they co-authored to hotel chain executives. In it, they petition for the removal of pornographic movies from hotels by asking the same question Dalrymple and Daubney asked.

“We beg you to consider the young woman who is depicted as a sexual object in these movies… Would you be willing to profit from her self-degradation if she were your sister…[or] your own beloved daughter?”

George and Yusuf are putting a face to pornography, and reminding us that those depicted aren’t just images but real people; and it becomes infinitely harder for us to use them for our selfish pleasure once we see that.

To read this letter, come to BreakPoint.org. And I’ll also link you to today’s “Two-Minute Warning” video. In it, I deal with how deeply pornography and other aspects of our culture’s sexual brokenness have victimized women, and men. It’s part two of our four-part series.

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I’m the mom of two sons.  Aunt of twelve nephews.  Grandmother of four grandsons. Men matter to me.

I’ve lived in the presence of faithful men.  These men — my grandfathers, dad, husband, brother, brother-in-laws, friends — are all aware of their inadequacies.  They know they frustrate.  Disappoint.  Fail.  But, they also seek wisdom in God’s Word.  They find strength in the humility and servanthood of Christ.  Because of this, I trust these men with my life.

There are other men.  Abusive, undisciplined, selfish men.  Men who have never been taught God’s Word for their life or rejected it.  These men have no concept of chivalry.  Instead, they dominate.  Worship self.  Fall to evil rather than good.  I could not trust them.  The women in their lives don’t.

A Biblical man stands in contrast.   The man who knows God as the Creator of male and female persons appreciates woman as his helper, not his possession.   The man who knows that God came to walk among us recognizes Jesus’ high regard for women.   A man familiar with the Word knows he was not made in the image of animals, but in the image of God.  Though fallen from that perfect image, he has attributes and characteristics of his Maker.  He is capable of thinking out his actions, weighing the consequences, and controlling his behavior for the benefit of family and society.

A godly man recognizes the leadership style of Christ.  Jesus laid down His life for His bride, the Church (Eph. 5:25).  He accepted responsibility.  On earth, Jesus was tempted.  The devil came to Him.  Tried to play with His mind.  Tease the flesh.  Even quoted Scripture.  The devil went away, then returned to tempt again.  But, Jesus stood firm.  The Christian man knows he, too, will be tempted.  Over and over again.  There is struggle in this world.  Knowing the battle is for the souls of his children, a father holds tight the Sword of Truth.  He wields its Law and Gospel with proper discernment.  This is a man of hope.

The man who wants to make a positive difference helps reconnect earthly fatherhood with the heavenly model.  The Heavenly Father is neither passive nor preoccupied.  He does not abandon His creation, but is involved with and committed to His children.  The Heavenly Father brings order out of chaos.  Sees male and female as equals, but delights in their differences.  Does not mentor girls in the same way as boys.   Sets boundaries for the protection of those He loves.  Explains the consequences of every choice — good or bad.  Pursues the lost.  Knows the desperate.  Welcomes all to lay the burden of every sin at the foot of His Son’s Cross.  Forgives.  His mercy in Jesus Christ is new every morning.

So, on Father’s Day — and with appreciation for faithful men — I promise my help.  My encouragement.  My supporting role as a rib.  Faithful men are needed by women.  Wives.  Sons.  Daughters.  Civilization itself.

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I could always count on the questions.  After each presentation on purity, girls — often shy, sometimes bold — would ask questions.  About boys.  Themselves.  Relationships.  Love.  Mothers brought their daughters to these events, but often stayed in the background.

Mothers were also in the audiences of the “lifestyle show” Judy Hayen and I took on the road.  The event, titled “Dressing for Life: Secrets of the Great Cover-up,” gave opportunity to address the consequences of “sexy” dress, casual attitudes about intimacy, and risky behaviors.  Clothing is fun.  But, whose idea is it?  Why does the Designer of clothing say we need more than fig leaves?  Why shouldn’t a boys hand go under a girls clothes?  The “lifestyle” show concluded with the perfect dress: the white wedding dress and why we wait to wear it.  It wasn’t the girls but the mothers who had tears in their eyes.  I know, I know.  Wedding dresses bring tears of joy to many moms.  But, I believe I also saw tears of disappointment and regret.  I know the statistics.  Too many don’t wait to wear the white wedding dress because oxytocin, not necessarily love, makes us warm and tingly.

Dozens of women have shared their abortion choices with me.  These choices were made after a touch.  A kiss.  Then the procreative act.   Oxytocin flipped the love circuit in their female brain.  There is trust.   A bond.  But physical contact and the oxytocin response it generates can blind women to a bad relationships.  These women, years after their abortions, explain to me tears of  failure.  Psychological trauma.  Heartache.  Loss.  Spiritual grief.

What were women who became mothers — of living or dead children — told about oxytocin?  What choices did they make because they weren’t told?  What were the consequences?  Is there a reason to keep from our daughters and granddaughters knowledge about their bodies?  How they are designed to function?  And why?

We are not captive to mistakes of the past.  They are forgiven because of Jesus Christ.  His death and resurrection are victory over every sin.  All we need to do is be sorry for our sins and confess them to God.  Then, in Christ, we are set free.  We are new every morning.  In Christ, we have the hope of better choices.  This hope is for daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and a neighborhood of girls.

God made oxytocin because He loves life.  He created one man to bond with one woman in marriage for life.  He joins with husband and wife in the procreational act of sex to bring new life.  He entrusts each new boy or girl to the nurture and instruction of their mom and dad.  With all of this, there is a future. There is hope.

Seems to me all ezerwomen should be talking about this.

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