This is a letter that was written from our previous posts, Garden Principles. I found it very encouraging and just honest. I hope it is a blessing to you all.
We have just learned about submission to authority this ‘tea time talk’. My heart is to share with you the difficulties that can arise in submitting to an authority that feels like they are just that…. only an authority. Our lives are very busy and it can often feel hard to get time for our relationships. I wanted to attempt to share with you how YOU have the power to help your daughter/s gladly submit to you. I want to define TRUST for you as from a daughter’s eyes.. Daughters are all alike in some ways and have very similar struggles. It is very, very hard to OBEY (especially happily) an authority that has not earned our trust. Trust is spelled this way to your daughter….
As women we are commanded to be in subjection and to obey those that have the rule over us, father and mother as well as ultimately the Lord. Women are commanded to obey their own husbands. We HAVE to… but wouldn’t you rather that we WANTED to. The difference can lie in this one word… time. How much harder is it for you, Mom, to obey your husband and show your daughters a right and godly example of submission whenever you are lacking in having quality time with you spouse? Adults seem to assume that children do not need as much time as their spouse. Your daughter/s knows you’re your spousal relationship is paramount and if you both aren’t happy together our homes fall apart…. But, we also crave and need time with our parents. I am 26 years old and have not ‘out-grown’ the need of a relationship with my parents. Daughter’s spell this relationship TIME.
I want to encourage you (fathers especially!) to take your daughter out on a “date” with you. It doesn’t have to be expensive or ever extremely lengthy. The fact that you would take time for her will mean more than WHAT you do. Ice cream isn’t that expensive. A walk together is free. Time is free and it’s the most valuable thing you could give her.
It is hard to obey someone you don’t trust. When you ask them to submit to something you know is right for them, but is hard to accept… please ask yourself, “How much reason have I given her to trust me? Have I ‘invested’ into her life enough to prove that I can be trusted with these hard decisions? When was the last time I showed my daughter that she is important to me?”
Men naturally understand this word so much more than women do. They rule their home and work relationships with it and manage this commodity remarkably well. Women struggle to understand what this is. We aren’t naturally respectful… we often do things to or say things to our father that are ‘obviously disrespectful’ in his eyes and we don’t have a clue that we have come across this way. But, also there is the reverse. I know we’ve all seen adults completely humiliate their child… like correcting them before an audience of visitors, (or even other siblings), or by talking down to them, forgetting them, not treating them with the same respect they’d give a stranger on the street. Please remember that your daughters are wonderfully made people. (Even at 6 our personality and personhood is very evident.) The next time you just expect your daughter to gladly obey you; please ask yourself, “Do I respect her as a person? Am I threatened by her having a different opinion from mine? Do I often assume she’s being disrespectful on purpose forgetting she may not truly understand this principle?”
A little bit of understanding goes a long way. Webster defines this word as “a mental grasp, the power of comprehending, friendly harmonious relationship, an agreement of opinion or feeling, sympathy.” Usually when your daughter shares something with you she has put herself out to be ‘critiqued, judged, reprimanded…. or understood.’ She is truly hoping for the latter result. If she constantly meets with rebuke and reprimand when sharing something she is struggling with, eventually, she’ll become discouraged, believe you’ll never understand and STOP trying to communicate with you. You don’t have to agree to understand. Most of the time your daughter is actually (even unknowingly) looking for the last part of this definition… sympathy. She wants you to just say, “Oh, I’m sorry you had such a bad day at work.” without attempting to fix either HER or the issue or struggle being discussed. We love it when we feel heard.
Most fathers aren’t naturally sensitive. It has not been designed into you as it has in a mother. However, if you will try to use even a little bit of it, you will quickly find that it is a powerful ingredient in helping produce or restore trust. It is difficult to obey someone you don’t respect, trust or feels cares about your feelings. We females are rather ‘fragile’ creatures. Those of us who seem like we can ‘take it’ on the outside normally can’t. We tend to try and HIDE how much that particular thing you did, or said truly hurt us. We attempt to seem stronger than we are. Please remember to be kind. When we feel secure in our parental relationship and have enough attention we aren’t as likely to desire (as strongly) outside attention. (Or male attention.) In this area of crushes (at a younger age) and actually interests (at an older age) remember how vulnerable your daughters are to admiration. If any guy even seems interested in you, you may consider this ‘undesirable’ option just because you are getting attention. I truly believe that when a daughter has a solid relationship with her father and trust him in smaller areas of life; it can carry them safely through these possible ship-wreck moments later on in the area of who she chooses to marry. If she feels she can’t trust you with small things, it will make this trust harder in such a large decision as who she will marry. You are responsible for her protection, but her decision is ultimately up to her. She NEEDS you desperately at this time in her life.
This can be a difficult one. My father has often told me that he struggles admitting when he doesn’t have something figure out, or when he doesn’t truly know what to do, etc. It can be very hard for you as her authority to show this form of perceived ‘weakness’ and not truly have it all figured out. Let me encourage you….. she already knows! It meant the world to me when my dad would admit, “honey, I don’t know.” Because I already knew that he didn’t. It meant so much that he’d be honest enough with me to just not have everything figure out. We’re actually, surprisingly, okay with that. What is hard is when you authority won’t tell you the real reason he is saying no. The simple answer of ‘no’ can become clouded by ‘good excuses’ or ‘reasons’ why it isn’t a good idea…and then when she works hard to remove these ‘obstacles’ (and she will) and you then say ‘no.’ it can feel frustrating. Trust her desire to obey you enough to just tell her the ‘No’ to begin with. I have often heard girl’s remark, “I wish he would just tell me no, instead of giving me all these other reasons that aren’t truly why.” I truly believe that honesty and transparency are very important in building trust.
We are commanded to obey, but it is never EASY to deny yourself for someone else. It becomes easier when you truly love, admire, respect and TRUST that person. To give your life over to someone else takes a lot of trust. You have the power to help her out a bit. We are to obey regardless… but it can be a lot easier at times of ‘closeness’ in the relationship than when you feel distant. I pray that this can somehow encourage you to invest in your daughters. Your daughter truly desires to spend time with you, have you interested in HER as a person and be able to trust you with her most valued of treasures… her heart.
Sincerely with respect,