At a time when there is so much to say about women’s empowerment and what it means, all I can think of is the message I want my own daughter to take into the world with her when she leaves the safety of this nest. I hope it resonates with you, too. Feel free to share it if it does.
Dear Sweet Girl,
I wanted to take a moment to tell you something: You are valuable.
I know, I say that a lot. But here’s the thing: you’re soon going to be out in the world on your own and I won’t be there to buffer you from the messages that it will send to you, which will likely be very different.
The world will tell you that sex sells, that in order to climb the ladder, get ahead, reach your pinnacle of success, you must compromise your standards and use your sexuality to help you advance.
I say to you, you have been created with a brain that is beautiful and bright and full of curiosity and good thinking skills. You are creative and smart. You are able to problem-solve and research ideas and work with others to bring together something that is good and beneficial. You have deep and profound thoughts that sometimes blow my socks off because, at 17, you are so much smarter than I was.
The world will tell you that sex is the most important aspect of a relationship, that if you want to know your compatibility with a person you must give up the one thing that you can only give away once, your virginity.
I say to you that sex…is amazing. And scary. And sometimes, heartbreaking. The act of sex is about so much more than two naked bodies. Sex is intimacy at it’s deepest. It is giving your whole self to another person – your mind, your heart, and your body. It is a connection that will leave you inextricably connected with whoever you partner with for as long as you live. You don’t need to have great sex in order to have a good relationship. You need to have a great relationship that can withstand even the difficult times in your sex life, because those times will come, no matter who you are or who you’re with.
The world will tell you that you are too young, too small, too insignificant to listen to. Or that you are too much – too loud, too bossy, too emotional.
I say you are just right. You have been created by God for a purpose and He has given you talents and gifts and passions to fulfill that purpose. There will be roadblocks along the way, but you can overcome. Because your youth has fire in its belly. Your size gives you swiftness and grace to adapt. Your words carry compassion and empathy and wisdom. Your volume is needed in a world that wants to close its ears to the plight of so many who have no voice. Your ability to lead and point others toward their gifts is a strength, not bossiness. And those feelings…those deep, deep feelings, when you hurt for those who hurt and you celebrate the victories of others, those are a reflection of Jesus.
The world will do it’s best to box you in. To say that as a woman, your value is found between your legs and in your willingness to compromise what you believe and know to be true about who you are and Whose you are.
I say, don’t ever forget, my sweet child that you are a masterpiece, created by God. You are the apple of His eye. He rejoices over you with singing and dancing because His love for you knows no depths. There is no end to His affection for you.
I wish that I could protect you from all that life will throw at you. There will be great loss and sadness in your life. There will be days you think you can’t breathe, much less get out of bed. There will be times when it feels like everything and everyone is doing it’s best to crush you. Know this, my girl, in the words of author Kathryn Stockett, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” And none of that is to be taken lightly.
Go bravely into the world. Be the empowered woman that you are.