“I’m not sure you’ll even get this message directly depending on how big your company has become, but here goes. I’m watching your video series about leading my daughter in her unique strengths as a girl. I just finished Video 2 about helping my daughter develop credibility. But I’m a little stuck; my daughter is 5 years old. I am DESPERATE to lead her well but, most importantly, lead her to Christ. I know I need to start laying these foundations you’re discussing in the videos NOW, but I’m not really sure how to do this with a 5 year old, and what realistic expectations would be. My expectations of her tend to be way too high, which leads us into serious power struggles. The last thing I want to do is make her feel like she’s not good enough. However, I DO want to instill these character traits in her. They will be a foundation to help her lead well in the future. Do you have any ideas for me? Or maybe, I need to save these videos and watch them in another year or two? I’m just trying to struggle WELL through this season, and lead my precious daughter in the way God has already set before her. Thanks for your ministry. I look forward to reading the books I ordered with my daughter!”
Thank you, Sarah, for reaching out. I share your concerns and have found myself feeling those same feelings often as I think about not just raising a daughter but leading one. You know there’s a big difference, just like I do.
I travel all around the country speaking to a variety of different audiences, but I’ll tell you there is something special that the Lord is doing in communities of women who have realized the importance of discipling the next generation and aren’t just sitting in the knowledge of it. They’re taking the steps necessary to actually do it. That includes you.
Women like you are so incredibly powerful (whether they believe it or not).
I’ve been doing the author/speaking thing for a couple of years now. I left my job as a full-time teacher a few years ago when it felt like God was nudging me to quit and run Bible Belles and Truth Becomes Her alongside my husband.
In what feels like a very short time, the Lord has really moved in unbelievable ways.
It’s so interesting what God can do when we step out in just a little bit of faith.
Over the course of our journey, I’ve learned there’s really only one thing we have to do to be a part of what He’s doing.
Our Father doesn’t need our expertise. He simply needs our OBEDIENCE.
It can be so easy to get caught up in whether or not we feel qualified to do the work God is calling us to, not to mention how we are going to influence and inspire our own daughters to follow Him. But it isn’t about how we feel.
It’s about moving when God says, “move,” and teaching our girls to do the same. To act when He stirs their heart for something, for someone.
I got a call a while back from the most delightful woman who runs the moms ministry at a small church in San Diego. She was explaining how they had a great event for moms coming up and they wanted me to come and speak. Their team had prayed about it and the topic they decided on was “The Wonder of Being the Best You.” And could I come and speak on that?
Yikes! I am still on the phone with her when my heart starts racing, and I start to sweat a little. And my mind immediately begins to wander and I start thinking about all the ways I am not the “Best” version of myself. It was like a mini nightmare except I was awake. I was thinking about all the ways I don’t measure up – how I wish I was more patient, and gentle, and that I worried less and how I wished I could change the abrasive tone of voice I use after years of being raised by my amazing yet firm, no-nonsense mother.
There I was, mid phone call, feeling unqualified, thinking that now couldn’t be the time, allowing all of those negative thoughts to swirl.
Maybe that’s you today. You’re looking at the young woman you love and have been called to lead. You’re thinking:
God, she has value. I want her to believe it.
I know she has a purpose. I want to show her how to walk in it.
What are her gifts, God, and who are they for?
What is the unique value she can provide to her home, her relationships, her community, and our world?
Challenge: How do we take the answers to those questions and put them into ACTION?
Action Step: Start with obedience. God’s desire for our girls is that they would say YES when He nudges them. He wants her to activate her gifts, talents, time, and resources to join the battle and build His Kingdom.
Whether she’s six or sixteen, encourage her today to be on the lookout for the ways God is speaking to her and what He is instructing her to do. A lot of the time, it looks like obedience to the people in direct authority over her.
God owns the product. She owns the process.
I tell Rooney often, “You get good at what you practice.” The good and the bad can become habits, so it’s important to encourage our girls to be the kinds of people that others can trust. Even the youngest girls can begin to own their credibility by taking the small steps of faithful obedience over time. “You get good at what you practice.”
When I think back on my conversation with that sweet women’s ministry leader, I’m reminded of a conversation I had about a while back with Brent’s aunt, Pat. Aunt Pat is one of Rooney’s special people. She is truly one of the most faith-filled women I’ve ever met. She and I have cancer in common, and Aunt Pat has her own miraculous story of healing like I do. I remember talking to her about what it would take for someone like me to get up in front of a crowd and share something personal.
She said, “I don’t know, Erin, but I do know that every time we say no to something God is calling us to do, we withhold a blessing from someone who needs it.”
That one hit me right in the gut. When you think about obedience like that, it makes it a lot easier to say Yes if you realize that saying No means you’re depriving someone of something God wants them to have.
Regardless of our feelings or circumstances, it is God’s desire that we would use everything we’ve got to make His name known. He wants us to use our words and actions to reveal His glory and model for our daughters how to do it too.
God has given all of us many gifts. Maybe the most extraordinary gift is the invitation to be a part of what He is doing. We accept that invitation every time we obey.
Encourage your daughter to say YES to what God is stirring her heart for today. When she does, she is declaring to the Father her gratitude for His faithfulness, His grace, and unending mercy.
God has given her many precious gifts. And every time she says yes, it is her gift back to Him.
Have an amazing day!
Are you looking for ways to inspire and equip your daughter with both solid character and God-centered confidence? Don’t miss my new book, Ringleaders. It highlights six women of the New Testament whose stories are inspiring the next generation of female leaders all around the world. Click here to learn more.